Supply Chain Gaps Targeted by New Government Agency
(11 May 2021 – Australia) A newly formed Office of Supply Chain Resilience announced in the 2021/22 Federal Budget will monitor vulnerabilities and coordinate government responses to streamline access to essential goods.
The new government office will oversee stockpiling of protective equipment (PPE), medical products and agricultural production chemicals and A$98.8 million over four years from 2021-22 (and A$4.9 million ongoing per year from 2025-26) to establish the Office of Supply Chain Resilience.
The establishment of this office will provide ongoing capacity to monitor and coordinate the Government's efforts to boost supply chain resilience and also to support the implementation of other Government policy priorities, including its COVID-19 response and continuing Australian Public Service reforms.
The focus on supply chain resilience is part of a broader strengthening of critical infrastructure assets and “systems of national significance” under the cyber security strategy announced in 2020. Under the supply chain initiative, the government will offer grants to businesses to ensure access to the critical product inputs needed to secure supply chains and support Australian manufacturers.
The budget allocates A$42.4 million to improve security arrangements for those assets and to assist critical infrastructure owners and operators to respond to significant cyber attacks. An additional A$12.7 million will be provided to the Australian Small Business Advisory Services to help firms digitise, including the removal of vulnerable legacy infrastructure. This will include a pilot program to improve the digital capability of commercial not-for-profit organisations, with a particular focus on Indigenous organisations.
“Supporting manufacturers and monitoring for vulnerabilities will be important, but Australia needs an overarching focus on smart, agile and intentional procurement with far-reaching implications. Not just from the government but from the business community at large” commented Coupa APAC Managing Director, Stuart O'Neill.