Victoria to revamp ICT procurement

The VIC Coalition government said the plan will provide a more "efficient procurement process"

The Victorian Coalition Government sought industry feedback on a plan to overhaul ICT procurement by government departments and agencies. The state government plans to move to an eServices register by July 2013.

“Every year Victorian government departments and agencies make a substantial investment in technology services,” said the government’s Assistant Treasurer, Gordon Rich-Phillips, at the 2012 iAwards in Melbourne. “A report into the eServices panel set up by the former Labor Government found the panel lacked visibility and transparency, resulted in lengthy tender processes, incomplete expenditure reporting and poor evaluation of life cycle costs and benefits.”

The procurement overhaul is part of the VIC Coalition goverment's response to a November 2011 Victorian Ombudsman's report, which slammed the then Labor government's management of ICT projects and investments. That report said that the Labor policies cost taxpayers $1.44 billion.

The new system will provide a “more efficient procurement process” for taxpayers and industry, Rich-Philips said. The state government will engage industry to make sure its needs are addressed, he said.

“This is a move toward a more flexible procurement model to give more companies, including small and medium enterprises, an opportunity to conduct business with government,” he said.

Under the plan, the VIC government will create an online portal giving suppliers and government departments a rating on their engagement and service delivery, Rich-Philips said. “We have also proposed to abolish the limit on the number of businesses on the register and the number of sub-categories that can be selected.”

All existing eServices panel members will be automatically transferred to the new register, the VIC government said. Companies that want to be added to the register must “verify they are financially sustainable, have the relevant insurances and be willing to sign a standard government contract,” it said.

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