Digital Sourcing Panels Policy
The Digital Sourcing Panels Policy encourages competition and makes using panels easier and clearer. It helps government buyers use digital panels and enables new sellers to join panels more often. This policy is guided by principles that support a flexible government and an environment that fosters digital.
Digital panels that are certified through this policy are listed for buyers and sellers.Back to top
The Digital Sourcing Panels Policy (the policy) is effective 1 July 2019 and supports the Digital Sourcing Framework.
The policy applies to Non-Corporate Commonwealth Entities, as defined by the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013. Corporate Commonwealth Entities may choose to apply the policy.
The policy is designed for new or updated digital (including ICT) multi-supplier panel arrangements (panels). Multi-supplier panels have 2 or more sellers. Updated panels refer to any of the following scenarios:
- opening a panel to new sellers
- any change to categories, terms, head agreements
- exercising extension options
- making substantial changes to a panel
The Australian Government agreed to the ICT Procurement Taskforce recommendation for the ‘immediate simplification of a range of ICT procurement practices for agencies, including reforms to ICT procurement panel arrangements.’
The policy delivers on this recommendation for panels and aims to:
- modernise panels
- make panels easy to use for buyers and sellers
- improve access to emerging products and/or services
- reduce costs and duplication
The policy does this by creating a panel certification scheme supported by 8 principles.
The certification scheme helps agencies be recognised as digital sourcing leaders who provide panels that meet the modern expectations of buyers. These panels will attract more buyers and provide them with opportunities for buying the latest technology.
Having certified panels will help agencies attract interest from sellers who are seeking a better experience when selling to government.Back to top
Principles of the policy
The principles form the basis for certification assessments. Your panel must meet the 8 principles below:
- avoid duplicating existing panels or categories within panels
- be for commonly used, clearly defined products and services
- be open to all agencies with multi-agency access clauses
- be easy to find by being registered on our website
- aim to have consistent and user-centred design for requests for quotes, templates, terms and conditions and reporting
- be regularly monitored and assessed, to ensure it is operating as intended
- be open at least annually for sellers to apply to join
- allow for regular updates of pricing and categories
Certification of panels
The policy creates a panel certification scheme. This certification scheme is designed to make it easy to find modern panels that meet the 8 principles. In the below scenarios, agencies apply for certification by submitting their assessment form to us:
- Creating a panel: upon making a decision to create a panel, they apply for certification. This should be done prior to undergoing an open tender process.
- Updating a panel: upon making a decision to update an existing panel, they apply for certification.
If agencies wish to certify an existing panel without updating it, they may apply for certification at any time.
We will review applications against the 8 principles of the policy. Panels will be assessed as belonging to 1 of 3 categories: Digital Certified, Digital Mandatory Whole-of-Government or Non-Certified.
- Digital Certified panels are assessed as meeting the principles of the policy
- Digital Mandatory Whole-of-Government panels are assessed as those defined under section 4.11 to 4.12 of the Commonwealth Procurement Rules
- Non-Certified panels are all panels that do not fit into the former categories as they do not yet meet the requirements of digital certification
To submit your digital panel for certification, complete the form on the ICT Procurement Portal. Once you register or sign in, you will then be automatically directed to the form. Your form can be saved in the Portal and be submitted at any time.
On submission, we will assess your form and provide you with the outcome of the panel certification assessment (or further steps that may be required) via email.
A list of certified digital panels which will be regularly updated is available for buyers and sellers of digital products and/or services.
You may choose to appeal a panel certification assessment. If you wish to make an appeal, you will need to follow the steps below:
- You may seek to have your assessment amended by submitting evidence that was not included at the time of your initial assessment
- If the initial assessment is upheld, you may lodge an appeal with us. We will notify you of the outcome of this appeal
- You may have your minister seek a review of the appeal outcome from the Minister with responsibility for Digital Transformation
Our guidance provides helpful advice on the policy principles.Back to top