Digital Sourcing Consider First Policy

The Digital Sourcing Consider First Policy is effective 1 July 2019. The policy applies to Non-Corporate Commonwealth Entities, as defined by the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013.

Application

The Digital Sourcing Consider First Policy is effective 1 July 2019. The policy applies to Non-Corporate Commonwealth Entities, as defined by the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013. Corporate Commonwealth Entities may apply the policy.

This policy must be applied to any investment in digital products and/or services with an expected or realised whole-of-life cost in excess of $80,000.

The procurement threshold is $80,000 (GST Inclusive) at Division 9.7a of the Commonwealth Procurement Rules. If the threshold is changed, this policy will automatically apply the new threshold.

Agencies are still encouraged to complete the checklist for each procurement below this threshold. The checklist will be available prior to this policy taking effect on 1 July 2019.

The policy must be used during the identification of business needs and before making any investment decisions - such as selecting any solution, provider or sourcing mechanism. It does not replace other evaluation processes.

Aim

The Australian Government agreed to the ICT Procurement Taskforce recommendation for ‘adopting a framework for ICT procurement that includes ICT procurement policy principles to guide decision-making’. The Digital Sourcing Consider First Policy is one of the priority policies under the framework.

This policy aims to guide agencies through early consideration of important factors that help investments meet their intended outcomes.

An assessment tool will be provided to assist in this process. The tool will help agencies to focus on the most important principles, early in a digital investment.

Consider First Assessment Tool

Agencies must complete a self-assessment using the Consider First Assessment Tool.

Using the tool will be an easy way for agencies to make better investment decisions, supported by the policy principles. The tool will be available prior to this policy taking effect on 1 July 2019.

The tool must be used during identification of business needs and before making any investment decisions, such as selecting any solution, provider or sourcing mechanism.

Agencies must store a copy of their self-assessment and share it with us on request. We may request a copy of the self-assessment relevant to a contract notice published on AusTender.

Consider First Principles

Agencies must consider the principles when completing a self-assessment.

Principle 1: Be user-centred and prioritise usability

Understand intended user outcomes and prioritise user needs. Also consider how your investment fits into the existing agency environment and technology roadmap.

Principle 2: Allow room for innovation

Frame business needs in a descriptive rather than prescriptive way. Ensure that the descriptive set of requirements promote discovery and innovative solutions.

Principle 3: Engage early and consult widely

Drive early engagement and consultation to help challenge traditional practices and explore new possibilities. Seek advice from technology, industry and procurement experts at the earliest possible stage to reduce wastage of time, resources and effort later on.

Additionally, reach out to other agencies or areas within your agency to establish if an existing solution or platform is suitable to reuse.

Principle 4: Consider the whole-of-life cost

Avoid equating value for money with initial cost. A low initial cost does not mean a low whole-of-life cost. At a minimum, investments should consider each element of whole-of-life cost in the Commonwealth Procurement Rules.

Principle 5: Align with whole-of-government requirements

Align with whole-of-government requirements early to ensure that digital investments deliver their outcomes with lower cost and reduced effort.

The key requirements are:

5.1 Accessibility

Design digital investments for all users, including people with disabilities, older people, and those who struggle with technology. The Commonwealth Procurement Rules mandate the Australian Standard for Accessibility (AS EN 301 549:2016).

5.2 Privacy and security

Ensure you align to relevant privacy and security conditions. Consider documents such as the Australian Privacy Principles, the Protective Security Policy Framework and the Australian Government Information Security Manual.

5.3 Cloud first

Follow the Secure Cloud Strategy. The strategy explores how cloud reduces costs, lifts productivity and delivers better services.

5.4 Use open standards and common platforms, make source code open, and allow government reuse

Follow the Digital Service Standard, particularly, use open standards and common platforms (Standard 7) and make source code open (Standard 8).

Guidance, tools and templates

The 5 principles are supported by guidance, tools and templates, which will be regularly updated and available prior to this policy taking effect on 1 July 2019.

Digital Sourcing Journey

When a proposed investment becomes a procurement activity then the next two policies under the Framework will need to be considered: the Digital Sourcing Fair Criteria Policy and ICT Contract Capped Term and Value Policy.

Get in touch

You can send your feedback, comments or questions to sourcing@dta.gov.au