The Victorian Government has decided to refresh its approach to its eServices panel after cutting more than 65 suppliers last month.
Minister for Technology, Gordon Rich-Phillips, said it became apparent there was a need for a broader panel to meet the government’s ICT requirements. The eServices Panel was revised from 271 companies to 188.
“Companies will have another opportunity to secure a place on the panel, which will result in greater choice and competition for departments as well as improved access for more small and medium enterprises to government business opportunities,” Rich-Phillips said.
The refresh of the panel is expected to be complete by October 31. The Victorian Department of Treasury and Finance will supply more details about the evaluation criteria. Companies can either maintain their existing bids or submit further bids.
The department will also implement a streamlined and transparent panel exemption process and provide advice to government departments seeking exemptions to use companies not on the panel.
In the process it will also establish an industry-government working party to advise the government on the approach and operation of the eServices panel.
“The Victorian Government aims to increase transparency of usage of the eServices Panel and develop a process where exemptions will not be unreasonably withheld, including publishing regular reports on the Victorian Government Purchasing Board website,” he said.
The move has been welcomed by the Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA).
"The changes recognise the importance that ICT plays not only in the development of robust government, but in the development of an innovative and resilient economy. This will be very good for industry development in the State, and particularly for SMEs. The Victorian Government is to be commended,” AIIA national chair, Philip Cronin, said.
AIIA Victorian branch chair, Russell Yardley, said it worked very closely with the Victorian Government to deliver the right outcomes.
"One of the most significant results of the current review will be the establishment of an industry / government working party charged with providing advice to the Victorian Government on the future approach and operation of the eServices panel,” Yardley said.