Smaller IT suppliers have won roughly $37.5 million worth of Federal Government technology contracts via the Digital Transformation Agency’s (DTA) Digital Marketplace.
According to Australia’s Assistant Minister for Cities and Digital Transformation, Angus Taylor, the Digital Marketplace has awarded 75 per cent of approximately $50 million in technology contracts to small and medium sized businesses (SMBs).
"More than 100 small and medium-sized businesses have shared in 75 per cent of the Marketplace’s contracts. By comparison, SMEs picked up 30 per cent on Austender in 2015–16," Taylor said in a statement.
"This is a real achievement and shows we’re breaking down some of the barriers for small businesses who want to win digital work with government."
The Government’s Digital Marketplace platform, which operates under the auspices of the DTA, went live in beta on 29 August last year.
One of the driving ideas behind the Marketplace was to make it easier for smaller IT providers to compete for government work – a move which is hoped to help to drive technological collaboration and innovation among government agencies and the private sector.
Giving smaller players a better chance at competing for, and winning, lucrative government work has been a big focus for Taylor, who revealed on 23 August a range of new procurement reforms, including a move that sees IT contracts capped at $100 million.
The procurement changes also saw a pledge by the Government to inject an additional $650 million annually into local tech companies that fall into the small to medium-sized enterprise (SME) category.
Now, it is clear that the Taylor’s hopes for the Digital Marketplace are coming to fruition as the balance of contracts issued for tech services being procured via the Digital Marketplace turns to favour smaller suppliers.
Taylor said the Digital Marketplace was a direct way for start-ups and smaller tech companies to pitch their ideas. At present, 487 SMBs – businesses with less than 200 employees – are currently registered as sellers on the Marketplace.
"I have written to all parliamentarians in the past week about the tremendous opportunities for local technology businesses through our improvements to IT procurement," Taylor said.