Consultation on the Digital Marketplace draft panel agreement

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. 

In this instalment, we are sharing some key changes about the upcoming panel agreement and providing information on how you can submit feedback to the proposed new Digital Marketplace panel agreement.

Over the last year, we have conducted extensive research with 932 buyers, 2,073 sellers, 225 labour hire candidates, 4 industry bodies, 10 domestic and international panel managers, to ensure that the new Digital Marketplace meaningfully improves the way government sources and industry provides digital and ICT products and services.

This research has helped clarify where we need to take the new panel to build on the success of the existing Digital Marketplace, while driving better behaviours and outcomes across digital and ICT procurement.

The new panel will have similarities with the original but includes some important updates. This is your chance to provide feedback on these changes.

DTA Director Anthony Conway outlines the changes coming to the Digital Marketplace Panel 2.

Panel agreement design

With the DTA operating six ICT panels alone, buyers and sellers told us that multiple panels result in an inconsistent experience and duplication of work. We heard the importance of consolidation of procurement pathways where possible, to simplify digital procurement. Consolidating panels means industry spends less time tendering and more time selling, reducing barriers to working with government.

The new agreement has been designed to allow future panel consolidation using a ‘module’ concept. Initially, the agreement will offer two modules, ICT labour hire and professional and consulting services, with other modules such as hardware, software and cloud to follow.

The panel agreement terms will be firmly set (at the top level), with neither buyers nor sellers able to override terms without the DTA’s agreement. By consulting on the terms now, we are seeking to avoid lengthy negotiations between buyers and sellers later – a commonly referenced pain point. Buyers and sellers will have flexibility to negotiate their individual contract terms where they don’t contradict the pre-agreed panel terms.

Open often

The panel will open frequently for new sellers to tender and existing sellers to apply for additional modules or categories. We are doing this so we can collate tenders and allow time for evaluation processes and to improve consistency of assessments. This means the panel won’t be always open, but we will be clear about opening and closing periods for applications.

Performance management framework

Direct and timely feedback helps us improve how we work. We are developing a performance framework that will support buyers and sellers to assess the services provided. Over time, the data we collect will improve education services to sellers and make for a more effective panel.

We will also assess the benefits of sellers and labour hire candidates providing feedback on their experience working with government to create a complete view of the ecosystem.

Seller engagement threshold

The existing panel includes over 3,000 sellers; however, some sellers did not respond to requests for quote after joining the panel. We want to ensure the new panel has active sellers that are engaged with the marketplace and ready to sell to government. We will be monitoring sellers on for inactivity and contact sellers to determine factors for not engaging to determine future enhancements. Should we not hear from you action may be taken to suspend or terminate sellers after reasonable notice is provided.

A better way to find and buy digital products and services

We’ve created professional and consulting service categories with clearer definitions to support buyers finding the right services that align with how industry sells.

ICT labour hire will use clearly pre-defined job roles, mapped to the Australian Public Service Commission’s job families framework and Skills Framework for the Information Age (SFIA). This will allow us to report on demand for digital roles and understand potential bottlenecks.

All of this will be supported by a new seller catalogue, improved search features and an online contract builder to allow a complete procurement process on BuyICT. An end-to-end process will also support more timely feedback to unsuccessful sellers when quoting, which is another pain point for sellers.

Greater transparency

We are aiming to improve transparency, create an efficient panel and increase accountability by providing aggregated pricing data through our insights pages. This will give all parties greater confidence that rates are fair and represent value-for-money.

For ICT labour hire, we will collect and share their recruiter’s management fees and on-costs to candidates. Sellers will be required to enter the personal email and mobile phone of the candidate so that the DTA can provide the fee structure to candidates, to build greater trust in the process.

Professional and consulting services sellers will be required to submit rate cards with each quote, which if successful in contracting with a buyer, will be deidentified and aggregated with other contract rates cards to publish market rates.

Administration Fees

We are reviewing the need to charge buyers an administration fee to support ongoing operations as our sourcing function operates on a cost recovery basis. The frequency and value are still under consideration, and we welcome feedback on the matter.

What are the next steps?

We are seeking feedback on both the proposed legal architecture, the panel agreement and concepts described above. You can download the documents here.

Provide feedback via this Survey Link.

You will find all necessary instructions on how to complete the survey contained within the link. 

Please be aware that due to the high volume of expected responses, we are not able to accept any other format for feedback.

Responses will be open until 5pm AEST on 12 January 2024.

It is important to note we will not conduct individual negotiations once the Request for Tender has been released to market, so any feedback must be provided through this consultation process.

Stay with us

Keep an eye out for our announcements early next year when we release the request for tender for the new panel.

If you have any questions, email us at