Can a new marketplace help reform procurement?

The Digital Transformation Agency (DTA) is replacing the Digital Marketplace in 2024 and improving the way that government buys digital and ICT services. This blog series is your behind-the-scenes insight as it progresses, to understand where the project is heading and why.  

If you haven’t already, you might want to go back to the beginning to read about this project and why we are doing it.

In this blog installment, we start to look at the focus of the new marketplace.

We understand the experience of using the existing Digital Marketplace, and have seen how our state and territory and international counterparts are innovating their panels. Now, we are seeking to understand what our users want to get from the new marketplace and set the direction for its design and delivery over the coming months.

Building on the extensive user research in previous sprints, we dug a little deeper in interviews with government and industry stakeholders to get a stronger sense of where we need to go from here.

Why we did it

“We have seen a lot of government procurements in the media recently, some of which have reflected poorly on procurement and outcomes. We need to do better in this space to support taxpayer money being utlised in a way that has transparency, integrity, and value at its core,” said DTA Director Anthony Conway.


What we found

Across our stakeholders, there was no single vision for the direction of the new marketplace – largely because everyone is looking to get something different from it, depending on their role or how they use it. That said, there were some common insights into where we need to go from here, including:

  • You’re headed in the right direction, so keep going: our stakeholders felt that the Digital Marketplace had been successful in creating an effective procure pathway for services and labour hire, as well as in minimising barriers to encourage greater participation from start-ups, small-to-medium enterprise, and Indigenous businesses. They said the goal now was to go further and aim higher to ensure that we realise the vision for the marketplace.
  • A new marketplace cannot guarantee good procurement processes and outcomes, but it can help: more needs to be done to address the culture and professionalisation of procurement, and there are changes the DTA can do with the new marketplace to improve transparency, guide behaviours, and collect better data to inform future reform in this space.
  • Government needs to be a better buyer: buyers need to do more for newer and smaller providers, to promote competition, and to engage with the market more meaningfully through better requirements, briefs, and feedback throughout the process.
  • Confidence in value: buyers need greater confidence in the value-for-money they are achieving through the marketplace, with transparent pricing and clear data on how much they are saving by using the panel. This would really demonstrate the value of the new marketplace.


How we’ll use your feedback

Notwithstanding the value the marketplace already provides, and having our own insights on where we could do better, we have gone into this journey with an open mindset for change.

These insights have helped clarify where we need to take the new marketplace to build on the success of the existing Digital Marketplace, while driving better behaviours and outcomes across digital and ICT procurement.

“We are considering the design of this new marketplace within in the broader procurement ecosystem. Being clear on what our stakeholders need will ensure that any changes we make are meaningful improvements to the way that government sources digital and ICT services and labour hire.” said Anthony Conway.

This work has also informed future research sprints into the classification of labour hire roles and service categories, as well as the experience of buyers, sellers, and labour hire candidates under the existing Digital Marketplace. You will start seeing the findings from these sprints in the coming weeks.

Stay with us

Keep an eye out for our next blog on how to classify ICT labour hire roles in the new marketplace. 

If you have something to add to this topic, email us at