The Queensland Government plans to invite IT services suppliers to join the second and third tranches of its whole-of-government panel in October.
The Department of Science, IT, Innovation and the Arts (DSITIA) has taken over responsibility for the contract from Housing and Public Works, and has decided to bundle the remaining procurement stages into a single approach to market.
Tranches two and three will cover:
- Solution development and implementation
- Service management
- Procurement management and support
- Client interface
Queensland opened applications for its first whole-of-government buying arrangement for IT services in March this year, with the first tranche covering business change, strategy and architecture services.
Speaking to industry delegates this month, outgoing DISITA director-general Andrew Garner revealed that 170 suppliers had already been pre-qualified to sell to Queensland agencies as a result of the March applications.
The goal of the prequalification panel “is to simplify processes for industry,” he explained, but relaxed entry requirements shouldn’t be seen as an invitation to relax quality and probity.
“While we want to make things easier for you in terms of pre-qualification, we don’t want to see any drop in performance standards.
“What we will be looking for is industry willingness to take on board increased accountability for the delivery of resilient and reliable services to the government,” he said.
“We need to see the industry...engage in self-regulation when it comes to things like poor performance and unethical behaviour.”
The whole-of-government panel arrangement will streamline what was previously an agency-by agency job, but it doesn’t go as far as other states such as NSW, which has installed a register of all IT services suppliers based on a minimum ‘tick-the-box’ criteria.
Earlier this year Queensland’s chief procurement officer Mary Goodwin sought to justify the rationale behind the state government’s more labour intensive approach.
“We have had some feedback like, gosh, NSW has this really simple process, why are you over complicating it?
“But NSW doesn’t actually prequalify all the nominated suppliers,” she explained. “It is really up to the customers then to determine capability each and every time. We want to push that process up to the front end and really streamline the back end.”
The arrangement will open to new applications according to a six-month refresh cycle and there is no cap on signatories.