Updated: NSW govt opens door to startups

Announces plan to offer innovative tech companies the chance to bid for short-term contracts

The NSW government is asking startups to bid for short-term contracts worth up to $250,000 in a reform of ICT procurement policy.

From October, startups with quick, testable and innovative ideas will compete for deals that will run for up to 75 days as part of the government's plan to work with innovative businesses through its ICT purchasing process.

NSW Minister for Finance and Services, Dominic Perrottet announced the changes on Wednesday night at the launch of the 2014 NSW iAwards at the University of Technology, Sydney.

Minister Perrottet said changing the risk parameters for these types of contracts will encourage the public sector to embrace more innovative solutions. The government said these parameters are being changed the realise the wider potential of new, innovative good or services, rather than simply favouring previous tried and tested solutions.

"This is good news for small businesses with big ideas," said minister Perrottet.

He added that it's been a challenge for smaller firms to demonstrate value for money when they're starting out.

“We now want to make it easier for small or medium enterprises to demonstrate potential value for money on ideas in the proof of concept phase of development,” he said.

A NSW government spokesperson said that each government agency is responsible for contracting services that best meet their own needs, and there is no prescribed quota for the short-term contracts.

"Approaches to market are determined by individual agencies, and agencies may adopt different procurement plans that best suit their needs," the spokesperson said.

Read more: NSW government adds to ICT advisory panel

Meanwhile, the government on Thursday morning issued a tender for a supplier to deliver mobile device management (MDM) and/or mobile application management (MAM) solutions 'as-a-service' made available to all agencies from an ICT service catalogue.

The mobile solutions will improve productivity and be interoperable between agencies, community, and industry, the government said.

The project is part of the NSW Government's ICT Strategy - released in 2012 - which details a shift to a service approach to purchasing technology services to reduce duplication and promote a cohesive, sector-wide approach to ICT that reduces costs.

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