IT suppliers in Queensland and the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) could soon be selling services to their states' Government departments via the Federal Government’s Digital Marketplace.
The Digital Marketplace platform, which comes under the auspices of the Australian Government’s Digital Transformation Agency (DTA), went live in beta on 29 August 2016, when it still came under the auspices of the federal Digital Transformation Office (DTO).
One of the driving ideas behind the Digital Marketplace is 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.
Indeed, making the local IT provider landscape fairer on smaller suppliers and removing barriers to government work had been a major focus for former DTO chief executive, Paul Shetler.
In his opening statement to a Parliamentary Senate Estimates hearing on 27 February, the DTA’s CEO, Gavin Slater, said that the Agency is in the process of seeing whether the Digital Marketplace could be extended to cover the state Governments.
“We are collaborating with the Queensland and ACT governments to identify opportunities to grow the Digital Marketplace and increase the opportunities for governments and sellers, particularly small and medium enterprises,” Slater said.
Slater also flagged that the Agency is in the process of signing off a memorandum of understanding with the Australian Information and Industry Association (AIIA), aimed at strengthening its engagement and collaboration with the industry sector on “key pieces of work”, citing IT procurement reforms and digital identity program, as particular items of consideration.
Additionally, Slater revealed that uptake of the DTA’s cloud services panel has increased by 33 per cent since January 2017.
“It has 183 suppliers, with 502 cloud services available to government buyers,” he said.
According to Slater, a total of 137 contracts have been entered into under the current panel arrangement, with a value of $47 million, with 94 of the contracts being awarded to small and medium enterprises, which represents 60 per cent of the total value.
The Federal Government’s cloud services procurement panel was one of several panels to be handed over from Department of Finance, where they had resided for years, to the DTA in mid-2017.
Other panels that made the trip from Finance to the DTA were the Government’s mobile panel, the telecommunications services panel and the data centre services panel.