Tuesday, 27 August 2013

The ICT market in the cloud

If your Department is in the market for some information technology and communications (ICT) products and services, you’ll need to master the new eServices Register.

The Register replaces the eServices Panel and eServices Online.  It has been in place since 1 July 2013.  All Departments and agencies must use the new Register for any new ICT procurement.

Unlike the Panel, the Register is open to all companies that agree to the Government's terms and conditions. There is no limit to the number of suppliers on the Register, improving opportunities for small to medium ICT businesses. 

The Register is an online cloud-based portal that allows Government purchasers to provide feedback on service delivery.  Rather than using a formal system of rating for suppliers (which was thought to be too subjective and unfair), the Register allows Government purchasers to see what engagements a supplier has had with other Government project officers. This allows Government users to check with their colleagues about suppliers’ performance.

Purchasers must still define their requirements and issue a Statement of Work (specification) for suppliers to quote on. However, the entire procurement will be conducted within the Register portal.

Former Panel suppliers are already eligible to join the Register.  Joining the Register also enables suppliers to identify possible partners, particularly small and medium companies who may not be able to respond to a request on their own.

Departments have greater flexibility with procurements under the Register.  Use of the Register will be in accordance with departmental procurement plans.  Where department procurement plans are not yet in place, interim approach to market arrangements apply.  These have been determined by the VGPB.

The old online system is accessible only for the completion of existing Panel engagements, including completing end project reporting.

So which contract applies?
  • All contracts commenced before 1 July 2013 will continue to be managed and completed under the existing eServices Panel contract.
  • Between 1 July 2013 and 31 August 2013, an interim contract is available for use, which will be the same as the existing contract, subject to some small changes to reflect the new arrangements. These include removing references to lead agency oversight and the distinction in service categories. Further, the rates under the Panel arrangements no longer apply. This will be replaced by a new eServices contract. The interim contract and new eServices contract will not be mandatory to use.
  • RFPs/RFTs issued by Government agencies before 1 July will continue to operate using the existing contract. Similarly, all existing purchase order contracts will continue to operate for the term of those contracts.
  • The new eServices contract is being circulated for consideration. DSDBI has suggested that the new contract should be ready by 1 September 2013. 

For more information about ICT procurement, please contact

Sam Funnell
Managing Principal Solicitor
t 9947 1407
sam.funnell@vgso.vic.gov.au


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