Govt talks up partner presence in Australia’s drive for digital dominance

Govt talks up partner presence in Australia’s drive for digital dominance

“We cannot go at it alone,” said ​Australia’s Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Digital Transformation, Michael Keenan

According to the DTA, the new framework is essentially a renamed version of the ICT Procurement Framework, which was released in draft version last year for industry consultation.  

The new name reflects the fact that the term ‘digital’ is broad and includes information and communications technology (ICT), the Agency said.

As such, the new framework covers many of the areas that fall under the broader digital umbrella. These range from policy, data and design to build and maintenance and digital marketing.

Along with the new framework, the DTA said it is looking at so-called Fair Criteria with the aim of encouraging competition, including efforts to encourage more small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to provide services to government.

Along with the previously announced $100 million cap on contract value and three-year cap on contract terms, the areas the DTA is looking at include insurance, limiting liability, security and providing separate financial criteria for large enterprises and SMEs where appropriate.

The agency also said it is looking at a Digital Consider First policy to make sure government buyers consider all options before they start the procurement process.

“The areas we’re looking at include cloud first, open standards, cyber-security, shared platforms, the Digital Service Standard and commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) products and services,” the DTA said.

As part of the framework, for which the DTA continues to ask feedback about, the DTA has released draft policy principles for feedback to make sure its panel approach will improve the experience of buying and selling digital products.

The new draft Digital Panel Policy is aimed at allowing new sellers to join panels more often, especially small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and help agencies source digital products and services.

In addition, the draft also aims to help government buyers use digital panels and help consolidate panels and make them easier to use.

“Inconsistencies in terms and conditions, contract management, pricing and reporting arrangements is some of the feedback I have heard about government panels that causes confusion for both buyers and sellers,” Keenan said.

Keenan also flagged an expansion to the DTA’s Digital Marketplace procurement portal, which is designed to make it easier for smaller IT providers to compete for government work, with a new Training Marketplace to be launched towards the end of June.

According to Keenan, the Training Marketplace will give government buyers more focus and flexibility to source the training and development expertise they need from the Marketplace, while buyers will be able to source qualified sellers to build digital capability within their respective areas.

The Training Marketplace will also provide sellers with greater opportunities to provide training services to government, while supporting the broader upskilling of digital capability to drive transformation efforts across government.

“In the spirit of the new Digital Sourcing Framework, we will continue to iterate and innovate on the principles, policies and guidance products I have outlined today,” Keenan said.

“As new technologies and ways of working emerge, our ways of buying them may need to change, and we need to be flexible to these needs,” he said.

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Tags procurementpartnersMichael KeenanDTA

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