The NSW Government has moved to break the stranglehold incumbent ERP providers hold on its purchasing by offering the whole industry an insight into the back office functions and business practices of agencies.
It will release uniform best practice guides issued to agencies to all accredited ERP providers for free, in an effort to nurture innovation and end the cycle of incumbency in public sector contracting.
The state’s IT and procurement experts decided that making this information freely available will ensure SMEs and newcomers to the market are not disadvantaged by having little or no background working with government.
“Previously these standards were only available to those who had a contract with government,” Finance and Services Minister Dominic Perrottet said today in a statement.
“This will make the standards more widely available, and will enable suppliers to tailor their solutions to meet government needs. It will make the system fairer for both large and small suppliers.”
The state also hopes that by giving software developers detailed information on its specific policies and ways of conducting corporate processes - like paying invoices, paying staff and measuring against KPIs - it will be able to improve the range of products on offer to the public sector market.
The move is also understood to help groom industry to take on a higher proportion of agency back-office processes, under the state’s outsourcing push.
The uniform standards were first put together by the team managing the corporate and shared services reform program (CSSRP) in 2012, and later updated in December 2013.
It is not currently mandatory for agencies to stick to the standards when designing business processes, but the CSSRP team hoped the “consensus approach” in cooperation with department executives will endear the standards to corporate heads.
“Progressive governments across the globe recognise the need to make it easier and more transparent for private enterprises to do business with government agencies,” Perrottet said.
The new ICT Services Scheme module has been titled ‘Category Q’ and is currently open to applications.