New digital policies help SMEs sell to government
The federal government has introduced new digital sourcing policies designed to level the playing field for companies looking to sell to government agencies.
The four new policies, which came into effect this month, aim to increase fairness in digital sourcing by allowing more companies to sell to government regardless of their size.
Under the Digital Sourcing Consider First policy, agencies are required to make investment decisions based on five principles: be user-centred and prioritise usability; allow room for innovation; engage early and consult widely; consider the whole-of-life cost; and align with whole-of-government requirements.
A separate Panels Policy encourages competition and aims to make using panels for procurement easier and clearer. The policy is also designed to allow new sellers to join panels more frequently.
The Fair Criteria policy includes principles and practices that allow companies to sell to government regardless of their size and previous experience selling to government.
Finally, the ICT Contract Capped Term and Value policy limits the length and financial value of government ICT contracts to allow business to bid for smaller components of larger projects.
Agencies will be required to ensure their procurement decisions conform to these four new policies when selecting suppliers under whole-of-government agreements. These agreements cover the provision of products and services that are typically used across government, and involve prenegotiated contract terms.
The DTA recently revealed that since its launch in August 2016, around 64% of the total value of contracts awarded through the Digital Marketplace has gone to SMEs, representing contracts worth over $300 million.
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