NSW government agencies have received the green light to buy digital services through the Commonwealth’s beta digital marketplace, offering a glimpse at what an interjurisdictional procurement platform could look like.
The working beta version of the online procurement exchange, developed by the Digital Transformation Office, went live in August, and three agencies have already posted briefs for digital service SMEs and start-ups to respond to.
The marketplace is being pitched as a more collaborative and outcomes-based way for the private and federal public sectors to do business, away from notoriously resource-intensive and heavily regulated public sector procurement processes.
Now NSW agencies will have the opportunity to take part in the buying experiment.
Department of Finance, Services and Innovation (DFSI) secretary Martin Hoffman announced at the CEDA digital bytes lunch today that when state bodies buy through the marketplace “they will be fully compliant with NSW government procurement requirements”.
“The NSW government is proud to announce that we will be the first jurisdiction to partner on the DTO marketplace,” Hoffman said.
“We are trying to break down the barriers, so there is not one set of rules to do business with the Commonwealth and a different set of rules to do business with NSW.
“We have got one set of rules and they can work through the one marketplace."
So far the DTO’s marketplace has targeted a range of skillsets in short supply across government workplaces, like agile coaching, ethical hacking, user research, web analytics, and accessibility design, as well as product management, service design, and business analysis.
The platform design is based closely on a digital marketplace run by the DTO's UK equivalent, the GDS.
The DTO’s Catherine Thompson said borrowing the design meant the agency was able to get the beta up and running within just five weeks.
“We reused their open source code and just tuned the concepts and the flows for our legislative environment, and also to reflect our user research," she told the CEDA luncheon.
“Now it is up to us to return the favour. We are on the verge of formalising a workplan to share the delivery load between us and our GDS colleagues in the UK.
“We are both interested in digital signatures, contract construction, payments - but only one of us needs to create them."
The marketplace has signed up 72 government buyers from 27 agencies already, and is looking to onboard another 100 pre-qualified digital service providers in the coming months, Thompson said.