Digital sourcing capability uplift

We’re transforming the way government buys digital products and services. As part of this, we will lift the capability and understanding of the Australian Public Service to source digital products and services effectively.

In response to the ICT Procurement Taskforce report (recommendation 6), the DTA committed to:

Develop a medium-term strategy for building the Australian Public Service (APS) ICT procurement capability and culture

This paper defines how we will uplift capability.  

What we did

To understand how digital sourcing practices and behaviours impact government, we conducted user research with buyers, sellers and other government stakeholders, including:

  • 28 interviews with buyers
  • 26 surveys from buyers and other stakeholders
  • 3 workshops with 37 government and industry stakeholders
  • 4 policy exemplars
  • 1 industry roundtable

What we heard - emerging themes

Understanding modern procurement practices will support better sourcing outcomes

The way technology is developed and delivered by industry is constantly changing, however government processes stay the same. Government buyers would benefit from increased knowledge in how to engage and partner with sellers to develop robust contracts for digital solutions.   

Digital sourcing approaches are different between agencies

User-centred research has highlighted that government procurement officers don’t have enough time to support best practice digital sourcing. Procurement has complex, inconsistent rules and processes that differ from one agency to another. 

Collaboration supports better outcomes 

Harnessing the collective strength of the APS is key to successful outcomes and better digital sourcing practices in government. With a common reliance on contractors, the risk of losing valuable institutional knowledge is an increasing risk. 

Digital sourcing capability is a key strategic asset

Digital sourcing skills are undervalued because procurement is considered transactional, not strategic. Digital sourcing must be treated as a specialist function for better outcomes to be possible. 

How we’re proposing to increase the digital sourcing capability of government over the medium term

We’re aware of the need to balance the benefits of consistency across government with agencies’ need for flexibility. The following activities, supported by user research, are designed to support the growth of digital sourcing capability while striking a balance between consistency and flexibility.

Simplify procurement practices

We will make digital sourcing practices consistent and simple for both buyers and sellers, including pre-procurement market engagement. 

Information hub

Centralising information for easy access for all those involved in the digital sourcing lifecycle will help deliver outcomes more efficiently. 

Guidance and tools

We want to provide guidance and tools to support buyers to use relevant policies and apply best practice digital sourcing techniques.

Learning and development support

We want to provide learning materials; including frameworks, templates and a learning standard for government buyers.

This will be designed to support professional sourcing capability and engagement across the full digital sourcing lifecycle. 

Communities of practice

We propose to establish digital communities of practice that directly support and solve digital sourcing issues by sharing information and expertise across government.

Coaching and mentoring

Changing ideas can disrupt an agency’s normal ways of sourcing digital products and services. We want to offer flexible approaches to support and coach sourcing professionals to implement digital sourcing practices.

Get in touch

If you have any questions you can send an email to or call 02 6120 8705.