Strategic sourcing made simple

Next in our series on the Digital and ICT Investment Oversight Framework (IOF), we look at Sourcing.

Sourcing is a key enabler for digital transformation and an important state of the IOF.

The Sourcing state (state 5) ensures government has access to value for money digital and ICT-enabled procurement arrangements.

State 5

The DTA is responsible for whole-of-government digital and ICT procurement. We manage several marketplaces/panels and contracting arrangements that reduce costs, improve protections, and promote innovative solutions for our government buyers. This helps agencies get the best possible outcomes from their digital and ICT investments – by engaging providers in the right way to ensure the best use of taxpayer resources.

These marketplaces/panels and contracting arrangements are brought together on - our easy-to-use online platform that streamlines the procurement process and reduces the time, effort, and costs involved for our buyers and sellers.

Our panels and whole-of-government arrangements have been optimised to:

  • streamline the procurement process to make it quick and easy for buyers and sellers
  • encourage competition, innovative solutions and emerging technologies 
  • leverage the buying power across government to achieve the best pricing or discounts available
  • pre-negotiate terms and contracting templates to help buyers and sellers get the right protections.

Watch this video to learn more from our head of Digital Sourcing, Michelle Tuck.

Since this work began in 2018, we have seen $22.5 billion contracted under our marketplace panels and whole-of-government arrangements – having increased usage across government 57% year-on-year.

But our work does not stop there. We continually iterate our arrangements to ensure that they are fit-for-purpose and support the Government’s strategic objectives. But what does that look like in practice?

Minimising barriers for Small to Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and Indigenous businesses

“A big focus of our work has been to gain higher participation from SMEs and Indigenous businesses,” said Director Peter Rymasz. “On the Digital Marketplace, we have simplified the application process and until recently, kept the marketplace open for new sellers. This has helped to level the playing field for these smaller suppliers and opened government up to different and innovative solutions that we might not have otherwise had access to.” also includes tags on seller profiles to identify SMEs, and Indigenous businesses to make it easier for buyers to find and include them on opportunities. These measures have seen over $6.8 billion or 54.68% of the spend under the Digital Marketplace go to these sellers since 2018.

Reforming panels to drive change in the market

But the success to date of the Digital Marketplace does not mean that there is not opportunity for improvement. The DTA announced that we would be replacing it with a new panel in 2024.

Director Anthony Conway is leading the establishment of the new panel and said: “The Digital Marketplace has been very successful in meeting a clear demand from government for digital services. We want to explore how we might improve the way that government engages industry for ICT labour hire and professional services. To achieve this, we are focusing our discovery research with five pillars in mind: value; transparency; equity; simplicity; and consistency.  We are working with buyers, sellers (including SMEs and Indigenous businesses) and industry bodies to understand and address pain points in procurement and achieve value for money for government. We also want our new panel to provide the data and insights government needs to make better digital investment decisions.”

We are currently in the Discovery phase of the project to redesign the new marketplace, engaging heavily across government and industry to understand the challenges and opportunities in this space.

We will share our insights from this process publicly, so keep an eye on our blogs in the coming months.

Helping government move to ‘net zero’

The DTA recently launched the new Data Centre Panel, which is helping promote sustainable practices across the data centre market and support the Government’s move towards ‘net zero’.  

Explaining how we do this, Director Manjula Abeysuriya said: “We negotiated a new head agreement with stronger measures to make sure that data centre providers are actively identifying, managing and reducing their greenhouse gas emissions. They will now need to demonstrate how they are doing this to win and retain government business going forward.”

Positioning the public service for the future

We also leverage our whole-of-government arrangements to support the Government’s priorities. Earlier this year, the DTA announced, on behalf of the Commonwealth, a new $725million deal with IBM.

“These arrangements are about working with strategic long-term partners and coordinating arrangements to buy digital products and services that are commonly used across government. We do this to maximise the benefits and deliver efficiencies, including standardised contract terms and conditions for all agencies, regardless of their size.”, said Nicole Bain, Head of Whole-of-Government Contract Negotiations.

The new IBM arrangement included support for agencies to explore emerging technologies, like artificial intelligence and quantum computing, as well as offer the training and certifications necessary to uplift digital capability across the Australian Public Service.  “We are going to be working closely with agencies to help them make the most of these benefits”, said Ms Bain. This kind of work is important to equip the Government with what it needs to continue transforming digital government services into the future.

Join the conversation

If you would like to keep talking all things digital sourcing, we run events through our Digital Sourcing Network for buyers and sellers, which can be found on

If you have any questions, you can always contact the BuyICT team.