Procurement Rules Tighten for New Zealand

Following the recent adjustments made to procurement laws in the UK based on national security, New Zealand’s Government Procurement (NZGP) is also taking steps to strengthen its own national security through tighter procurement rules. New guidelines coming into effect on August 14th, aim to provide guidance to government procurement bodies to mitigate state security risks when entering into contracts.

While it’s accepted that states may make efforts to influence other states, national security risks arise when these actions are intentionally misleading or deceptive, with the supply of goods and services is an easy way to achieve this, potentially allowing foreign states access to sensitive New Zealand assets, both physical and digital. As national security risks continue to evolve, these proactive measures propose to tighten procurement rules and protect the nation’s interests.

The new guidance will help agencies in determining the existence and degree of risks in any contract. A supplier risk matrix will be provided to quantify risks. A framework covering mitigation strategies during planning, sourcing, and managing stages will also be introduced.

State bodies will not be required to apply the new guidance universally but will consult with NZGP for advice on situations where procurement may pose a threat to national security. This approach allows for tailored considerations based on specific contracts and contexts.

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