buy.nsw goes live with simplified cloud procurement

Over 100 buyers and 50 sellers are now using the NSW Government’s new ICT procurement platform, which has streamlined contracts and registration for vendors.

Natasha Wolf, delivery manager for buy.nsw, the State Government’s new procurement system, told the Technology in Government Conference that the streamlined platform had reduced the number of ICT categories in the system from 80 to 10.

The site’s new approach to contracting, which is focusing on plain language and accessibility, has reduced the length of contracts from 24 pages to nine, she said.

“What we’re trying to do is a build a generic contracting framework that can be pyramided up for any kind of solution type, any kind of assessed risk, and will work in a digital delivery,” she told the Canberra audience on Tuesday.

The procurement platform, first announced by the State Government in May, is starting with a cloud marketplace and will grow to include other ICT categories, Ms Wolf said.

The site opened to sellers to on-board in May and to buyers in June, she said.

“We started small and moved fast… we started with a subset of buyers from cloud because we knew this wasn’t a huge spend currently in government and wasn’t something that could have a huge impact immediately and possible therefore be risky.

“But it’s also something we knew we’re all looking to do more of and so visibility into that space would be beneficial for government,” she said.

Engagement with procurement officers, IT professionals and an industry reference group highlighted high levels of dissatisfaction with the government’s existing procurement site, she said.

“We found that people predominantly were frustrated, often they were confused about which contract to use and when, it was difficult for buyers to find new sellers.”

The process to discover registered sellers consisted of downloading and searching an excel spreadsheet, which still only provided the seller’s name and address and lacked any information on their capability, products or services, Ms Wolf said.

“There were over 56 documents that… you would have to access to understand how to fill in the form accurately and know what you’re obligations are,” she said of the existing system for vendors to register.

There was concern about the currency of the data on sellers that was collected in the system and about the timeliness that data was provided to agencies, Ms Wolf said.

“The current way of procuring ICT services was seen as complex and often duplicating processes,” she said.

The new site aims to promote informed, mindful and confident sellers while empowering buyers to make meaningful decisions when procuring.

“The tool allows buyers and sellers to connect, it allows them to go in and search for different products and services, and it provides a single digital on-boarding process,” Ms Wolf said.

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