The Victorian Government will create a digital marketplace for “highly scalable and flexible” procurement, replacing the tender-based digital procurement approach that has dominated so far.
Digital Victoria, the new digital unit of the Prime Minister and Cabinet Office, last week unveiled plans for the government-wide Digital Victoria Marketplace, as it aims to make it easier for businesses to supply government.
It is expected to approach the market within the next three months to establish the market, according to a prior tender notice.
Documents reveal that the “service-based solution” will allow agencies to purchase “products and services under already established state purchase contracts and panel arrangements.”
The market “would mainly have a highly scalable and flexible source [sic] to assign the ability to respond to a dynamic and complex contracting landscape across government,” the notice states.
The relationship between the market and existing plans to merge the Electronic Services Registry with the IT Infrastructure Registry under a project called the Reform Program is unclear.
The project is expected to result in the creation of a “one-stop-shop” for IT procurement, underpinned by a single modular master contract and procurement platform.
In November, the government’s long-awaited digital strategy indicated that there was a need to simplify procurement processes to improve the ability of businesses of all sizes to deliver services.
In particular, he denounced the “lack of structures for repeated and effective partnerships with other organizations in order to jointly achieve the objectives of the government”.
“Digital platforms, which are the entry point into public markets, can be difficult to use,” the strategy says.
“Complex requirements for doing business with government can also be a significant barrier for organizations seizing key opportunities.
“Some organizations may find it too complex to source business from the Victorian Government as it erodes the value of participation.”
The plans for the state-based marketplace come five years after the Federal Government followed the UK in creating a digital marketplace to make it easier for SMEs to win government contracts.
While the market had facilitated more than $2 billion for SMEs in the five years to March 2021, it is widely used to source contractors, with the top ten ‘salespersons’ in recruitment firms 2021-22 .