DTA provides insights into whole-of-government ICT procurement
The Digital Transformation Agency (DTA) has recently launched a Reports and insights page on BuyICT.gov.au that is already delivering greater insights into where the government is spending money and what it’s spending it on.
With the page updated monthly, anyone can explore current data relating to the DTA’s cloud, digital services, hardware, software and telecommunications marketplaces.
“We are seeing some encouraging trends in this data,” said Wayne Poels, General Manager for Digital Investment Advice and Sourcing. “Since 2019, the number of opportunities going through the marketplaces has more than doubled to almost 8,000 opportunities in 2022. The number of sellers has tripled over the same period. I think that speaks to the great success of BuyICT.gov.au in making it easier to buy and sell digital products and services across government.
“The really great part is that, of the $17.47 billion spent through the marketplaces to date, more than 44% of the spend has gone to small-to-medium enterprises and more than 2% to Indigenous-owned businesses – both exceeding current government procurement targets.”
‘…of the $17.47 billion spent through the marketplaces to date more than 44% of the spend has gone to small-to-medium enterprises and more than 2% to Indigenous-owned businesses…’
But there is still work to do to improve competitive procurement practices.
“We can clearly see that government needs to take steps to improve competition, with 35% of opportunities still going out to a single seller. While the DTA cannot direct agencies on their procurement decisions, we will use this data in our engagements with buyers to encourage more competitive practices when approaching the market,” said Mr Poels.
This work is part of the DTA’s commitment to improve the transparency of the use of procurement panels and encourage more competitive procurement practices.
“For DTA, this is more than just a simple data transparency exercise. Agencies can now see the trends, and potential shortfalls, in their procurement practices. We will work with them on this to identify if there are capability gaps that we can address, or if we need to advocate for policy change more broadly,” said Mr Poels.
The DTA already has prompts built into the procurement workflows on BuyICT.gov.au to remind government buyers that it is best practice to include multiple sellers on a request for quote.
There are also reminders in the workflow to encourage the inclusion of small-to-medium enterprises and Indigenous businesses, which have tags on their seller profiles on BuyICT.gov.au so that they are more visible to buyers.
But as a ‘single source’ can be justified under the Commonwealth Procurement Rules, the final decision on who to include on opportunities is still up to the buyer.
The Reports and insights page further reinforces the DTA’s long-standing commitment to transparency in whole-of-government ICT procurement, which it led in introducing this functionality onto the beta Digital Marketplace platform in 2018.
“This new page completes the migration of the Digital Marketplace to BuyICT.gov.au," said Mr Poels. “We have been working steadily to migrate and standardise the records and transparency provided in the old Digital Marketplace platform, so that this functionality could be rolled out and continue across our marketplaces and whole-of-government arrangements.”
The DTA will continue to iterate and enhance the functionality of the Reports and insights page over time.
Please email any feedback or comments ICTprocurement@dta.gov.au.