The Digital Transformation Agency is ramping up operations of its SME-focused buying portal, evolving its existing digital service professionals panel into a fully-fledged digital marketplace.
The DTA has been piloting its new approach to government buying since last year, with a range of hand-picked niche digital services that are in short supply across the government, including agile coaching, ethical hacking, web analytics, and user research.
It is trying to replace the clunky and time-consuming approach to tender-led government procurement with a two-way marketplace that allows customers to post briefs on the work they need done, which registered suppliers can then bid for.
The DTA is now making moves to transform the digital service professionals panel into the full digital marketplace it envisioned at the outset, and is calling for SMEs, start-ups, and bigger operators to register their interest in supplying specialist digital recruitment services and software products, as well as the existing digital service portfolio.
Eligible software products are currently restricted to a DTA catalogue, but the agency said the "functionality will evolve in response to the needs of buyers and sellers" in the coming months.
Companies who lodge an application will first become a “registered seller” with a visible capabilities profile. When registered sellers mark their interest in bidding for a job, they will be assessed by the DTA to become an “active seller” - which means they can respond to opportunities directly.
Assessments involve a review of past experience, a reference check, and a quality assessment of corporate documentation.
The DTA has also urged vendors to keep an eye on the AusTender listing for the marketplace as it progressively adds new “areas of expertise” to the range of services that can be sold through its portal.
The digital marketplace has been stood up using the the same codebase as the UK’s Government Digital Service for its own version of the buying platform.
Already the NSW government has signed off on its own agencies buying through the marketplace, and a number of local government organisations are also included in the 304 registered government buyers currently participating in the program.