In its Statistics on Australian Government Procurement Contracts, the Australian Government reveals that it published 92,303 procurement contracts with a combined value of $80.8 billion in 2021-22.

Out of these contracts, $24.9 billion or 30.8% were awarded to small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

The Australian Government has seen a year-on-year rise in SME participation in Commonwealth procurement over a six-year period. In 2016-17, it awarded 34,621 contracts to SMEs, while in 2021-22, this figure had risen by 47.1% to 50,921 contracts.


Through its Commonwealth Procurement Rules, the Australian Government is committed to:

  • sourcing at least 10% by value of all procurement from SMEs (this increased to 20% after July 2022)
  • sourcing at least 35% of contracts valued up to $20 million from SMEs

Under these rules, an SME is defined as ‘an Australian or New Zealand firm with fewer than 200 full-time equivalent employees’.

Industries gaining the most ground

The Australian Government estimates that 86% of its suppliers in 2021-2022 were SMEs.

It has noted five top SME categories that were awarded the highest estimated value of contracts.

Management and Business Professionals and Administrative Services
SMEs won 51.5% of contracts, worth a total of $16,429.9 million

Engineering and Research and Technology Based Services

SMEs won 59.3% of contracts, worth a total of $8,583.9 million

Building and Construction and Maintenance Services

SMEs won 47.0% of contracts, worth a total of $8,337.2 million

Information Technology Broadcasting and Telecommunications

SMEs won 48.5% of contracts, worth a total of $6,203.6 million

Politics and Civic Affairs Services

SMEs won 55.8% of contracts, worth a total of $5,019.6 million

Almost half of contracts up to $20 million awarded to SMEs

In 2021-22, the Australian Government awarded SMEs an estimated 46.2% of contracts valued up to $20 million, worth a total of $15.5 billion.


Overall, the amount of procurement funding the Australian Government continues to allocate to SMEs is testament to the vital role they play in the Australian economy. A vital role that looks set to grow.

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