Introducing Government Industry Agreements (GIA)
In September 2009 the Government announced a new policy to achieve better biosecurity outcomes for New Zealand. Based on existing Government Industry Agreement discussions, the new approach involves Government through the Ministry for Primary Industries and industry groups working closely together to prepare for and respond to biosecurity risks.
The new iteration of the Government Industry Agreement on Biosecurity Readiness and Response (GIA) will provide an opportunity for industries to identify the biosecurity risks of greatest concern to them, and jointly invest with government to better manage those risks, across the biosecurity system.
Improved preparedness will help achieve faster, more effective and less costly responses to incursions of unwanted organisms. Industries that sign up to the GIA will be actively involved in helping industry prepare for a potential biosecurity response, and will bring the industry perspective to the decision making table in any response.
As well as joint decision making the GIA will also provides for cost sharing in both response and readiness activities, to offset costs to both industry and the taxpayers of New Zealand for these activities. Cost sharing will be both direct and in kind and will help reduce the impacts of biosecurity risks on farmers, processors, the community, the environment, and the economy.
The Government Industry Agreements process will be formalised in an overarching and enabling Deed to be signed by interested industry groups and the government, through the Ministry for Primary Industries.
The first version of the Deed, drafted by a small working group of government and industry representatives, was released in December 2012 for feedback by 31 March 2013. The final version is expected to be finalised by July 2013.
The Deed provides for Operational Agreements as the primary vehicles to deliver the improved biosecurity outcomes anticipated under the GIA.
A number of activities are supporting the development of the GIA. These include:
- the establishment of a wider industry group to engage with government on the GIA
- a Joint Working Group (appointed by the wider industry group) to draft the GIA Deed
- developing a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) as a formal expression of interest in the GIA between government and industry
- scoping a number of value propositions to explore the value for industry to be achieved through a GIA partnership and signing the Deed
- establishing interim governance arrangements for the GIA including an Interim Governance Board and an independent GIA Secretariat
The draft Deed
A draft Deed (338 KB) was released in late December 2012, with a period for feedback until 30 March 2013.
Following the receipt of both industry and government feedback, the Deed is being finalised by the Joint Working Group. It is expected to be available for government and industry for agreement in July 2013, after which accession processes for parties who wish to sign the Deed, will begin.
The Deed becomes operational once government and at least one industry has signed it.
Both the Deed and the Agreements it enables are living, enduring documents, which will guide the formalised Government-Industry partnership in biosecurity readiness and response for many years into the future. Industry groups that gain the mandate of the members and sectors they represent will be able to enter into an agreement under the GIA at any time from July 2013 onwards.
MOUs and the business case for GIA
To secure mandate from their members a number of industries are working with MPI to develop a business case to demonstrate the value of signing the Deed.
Twenty-one industries have so far become parties to a Memorandum of Understanding formalising their interest in the GIA and committing them to jointly engage in and resource a process for developing a value proposition for one or more unwanted organisms, to help them and their members decide whether or not to become a signatories to the Deed. The MOU does not commit them to sign.
For many industries, the MOU and its value proposition work will preview the development and implementation of GIA Operational Agreements.
Operational Agreements, which outline commitments for shared investment in readiness and response, are the primary vehicles for delivering improved biosecurity outcomes through the GIA.
A template and process for developing and negotiating these agreements is being developed through the independent GIA Secretariat and will be available soon.
Page last updated: 18 April 2013