The Digital Marketplace: What to expect from the Digital Marketplace Panel 2

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. 

This instalment of our blog marks an important milestone in the road to the Digital Marketplace Panel 2. The consultation period on the panel arrangement has closed, and work to get the marketplace panel ready to receive applications is almost complete.

Following our announcement last year, we have conducted extensive research to ensure that the new marketplace meaningfully improves the way that government sources digital and ICT services and labour. We have spoken to:

  • 1,194 buyer users
  • 2,269 seller users
  • 225 labour hire candidates
  • 4 industry bodies
  • 10 domestic and international panel managers

A draft panel arrangement was released for consultation on 1 December 2023, which attracted 2,000 comments and requests for amendment from 314 sellers, 12 buyers, and 2 industry associations. We are incredibly grateful to everyone who contributed to this project.

Reflecting on our research

The digital and ICT sector is vital to the effective functioning of Government. In an increasingly digitised APS, it is important that we get our Panel Agreements and procurement platform right.

“Nothing compares with hearing directly from buyers and sellers to really understand their pain points and our opportunities to improve,” reflects Branch Head for Digital Sourcing, Anthony Conway.

“We have discovered that the fundamental needs of buyers and sellers remain the same and the idea of a panel arrangement still works. How we meet those needs - with new technologies, increased transparency, and governance frameworks - that is the next opportunity for the DTA.”

Results of the consultation

We have read and considered every comment and request for amendment that you submitted in response to our public consultation. We'll discuss 5 key areas that received the most feedback, and how your feedback has informed the new Panel Agreement.

  • liability and indemnity
  • flexibility
  • detailed guidance notes
  • reporting
  • pre-placement checks for ICT labour hire

We heard concerns regarding the liability and indemnity clauses within the panel agreement, these have been amended to create a more balanced position between sellers and the Commonwealth.

We have maintained the requirement for the DTA to approve any changes to the Panel Agreement, however, based on your feedback we have allowed greater flexibility for certain clauses.

 For example, buyers and sellers will now be able to agree on who owns the intellectual property developed under a contract. Other examples include liquidated damages clauses and transition out provisions.  

We received feedback that certain clauses were difficult to understand. We have added more guidance notes in the Panel Agreement and simplified terminology to improve clarity.

We also heard from you that the turnaround times for reporting were too short. We have increased these timeframes in response to your feedback.

The requirement for candidates to undergo medical and fitness tests as part of the pre-placement checks for ICT labour hire has been removed. Instead, buyers can ask for certain checks at the time of requesting a quote.

While we note that price is one of many factors in determining value for money, clauses on price transparency and the collection of candidate information will remain, this is important to support an efficient and effective marketplace. This approach is in place to balance and serve the needs of buyers, sellers, and labour hire candidates. With these measures we aim to improve transparency, increase competition in procurement and achieve better value for money for buyers. We are focusing on how we showcase sellers’ offerings to buyers beyond price and are working on improvements to the seller catalogues.

Finally, the overall response to the proposed legal architecture was very positive. We heard that you found the structure of the architecture clear and easy to follow. While slight amendments have been made to the architecture, the overall structure remains the same.

Stay with us

Thank you for staying with us on this journey, we are almost there. Keep an eye on AusTender for the release of the request for tender for the new panel. We will be announcing events to demonstrate new features in BuyICT as they are built. Register for updates on Eventbrite to be notified. If you have something to add to this topic, email us at