Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) have been awarded $240 million in Government deals through the Digital Transformation Agency's Digital Marketplace, since its inception in 2016.
A total of $320 million worth of contracts were awarded to Australian businesses, according to an announcement from the minister for human services and digital transformation Michael Keenan.
In 2018 alone contracts totalling $235 million were awarded, which means that 73 per cent of all contracts awarded through the marketplace occurred in the last 12 months.
That means 75 per cent of the deals were awarded to SMEs, which was in part due to the restriction in the size of individual contracts to a maximum of $100 million, according to Keenan.
A beta version of the Digital Marketplace was launched on 29 August 2016, with the Government at the time calling on SMEs and start=ups to get on board.
Only two months later, the Government announced that there was more than $15 million worth of IT contracts up for grabs on its Digital Marketplace portal since it went live in beta.
In May 2017, the Government revealed that 82 per cent – or $12.5 million – out of the $15.3 million were picked up by SMEs.
The most recent was delivered by Magento partner Balance Internet, who helped the Department of Human Services (DHS) to build Service Connect, a new digital platform with Child Care Finder as the first service available.
Two contracts were recently made public on the Australian Government tender website totalling $630,000 from the DHS to Balance Internet for a "proof of concept" performed between February in 2017 and June 2018.
The DHS engaged Balance Internet in February to build a proof of technology for Service Connect using Magento’s open source digital commerce platform, according to Keenan's announcement.
“Digital transformation of Government services is not an easy task and partnering with a small Australian business like Balance Internet delivered a smart solution to a complex problem,” Keenan said.
“Flexible, inter-operable and scalable platforms like Service Connect reduce duplicated effort across government, provide Australians with a consistent service delivery experience and contribute to the digital transformation of government services for the benefit of all Australians.”