Australian Government Covid Procurement Findings

As the world emerges from the pandemic, governments are reviewing their procurement of Covid related goods and services. The Australian Government tasked Professor Jane Halton, AO (Order of Australia) to lead an independent review into Australia’s COVID-19 vaccine and treatment procurements.

Professor Halton is a well-respected and experienced leader in the health sector, with roles including former Secretary of the Commonwealth Department of Health, former Secretary of the Department of Finance, chair of the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations and co-chair of the COVAX initiative. She has recently released her findings to the Government, making eight recommendations.

The recommendations cover a range of areas, but key themes are the need for public health campaigns around vaccine uptake, the need for an updated COVID-19 policy framework, the need to streamline advisory structures, a review of vaccine distribution arrangements, and the need to ensure adequate supplies of therapeutics and vaccines across 2023 and 2024, among other things. An executive summary and recommendations of Ms Halton’s report can be found here, and the full document can be found here. The remainder of the report covers contractual arrangements with vaccine manufacturers and as such is commercial-in-confidence.

On accepting the recommendations , the Hon Minister Mark Butler, Minister for Health and Aged Care said; “The Albanese Government has taken proactive and decisive action to manage the pandemic.  As a new incoming Government, we commissioned this review to make sure future procurement and purchasing strategies are fit for purpose and appropriate… The Government will now carefully consider the recommendations in the report as part of its long-term strategy to manage COVID-19.”

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You may also be interested in reading Australian Pandemic PPE Contracts Cause Concern.

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