More than 1,000 tech-related businesses have registered for the NSW Government's ICT Services Scheme since it began in March last year.
The scheme came into effect 1 March 2013 and was expanded on 25 March 2014 to include hardware acquisition, software licensing and telecommunications.
It replaced a costly panel contracting arrangement with a simple online application process.
NSW Finance and Services minister, Dominic Perrottet, said 1089 SMEs had registered with the initiative (as at 7 November), comprising 88 per cent of all suppliers on the scheme.
“This is a significant milestone and demonstrates the NSW Government’s commitment to supporting small and local businesses,” he said.
“We’ve made some significant reforms to procurement over the last few years which have created more opportunities for SMEs to procure services to and work with government.
He said the high sign-up rate could be attributed to initiatives the NSW Government had undertaken to support SMEs.
“Increased competition, greater innovation and more resilient and diverse supply chains will result from greater engagement with small and medium businesses,” he said.
A reduction in red tape has allowed the scheme to continue to grow, enabling government to better meet its ICT requirements, Perrottet said.
“Small and local businesses are the backbone of a strong economy and a hive for innovation, particularly within the ICT space,” he said.
“In September we introduced changes to encourage more small-to-medium enterprises to provide innovative solutions to government.
He said it was now also easier for SMEs to demonstrate potential value for money under short-term high-risk contracts worth up to $250,000.
“Agencies are also required to seek at least one quote from a SME when using major NSW Government contracts to buy goods or services worth up to $1 million,” he said.