DTO gears up for Digital Marketplace project

Project aims to offer startups a slice of government’s $5b ICT spending

A public beta of the federal government’s Digital Marketplace will be launched before the end of the year.

The intention is to make it easier for small businesses and startups to participate in government procurement opportunities.

The project is being led by the Digital Transformation Office, which will begin a discovery process in April that aims to look at barriers businesses face providing digital products and services to the government.

“The Digital Marketplace will be an online catalogue of services, people and technology to assist government with service transformation,” industry, innovation and science minister Christopher Pyne said.

“We’re keen to open this up to smaller and newly-established businesses who have traditionally found it too big a burden to prove their credentials to government. There have been too many hoops to jump through, so they simply haven’t bothered to apply for government ICT work.”

The project is part of the government’s $1.1b ‘innovation agenda’ and is based on the UK government Digital Marketplace, which launched in November 2014.

The government last year said it would spend spend $15 million on the project.

The federal government spends around $5 billion a year on ICT. The marketplace is due to go live in January 2017.

While work is underway on the Digital Marketplace, the DTO is setting up a number of specialised procurement panels.

“We’ve launched the first of these panels, a digital specialists’ panel, for professionals in this field, and all interested businesses are encouraged to apply through Austender,” assistant minister for cities and digital transformation Angus Taylor said.

“This panel will also make it a lot easier for governments to access the digital expertise they need to supplement their in-house teams. These are just the first steps in a greater collaboration between government and the tech industry and I look forward to engaging more with this exciting sector.”

Details of the digital services panel were revealed earlier this month.

The panel covers nine service categories: The DTO is seeking tenderers across nine service categories: Product management; business analysis; delivery management and agile coaching; user research; service design and interaction design; technical architecture, development, ethical hacking, and web operations; performance and web analytics; inclusive design and accessibility; and digital transformation advisors.

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