Pearce eases NSW telecommunications procurement

By Paul Hemsley

New South Wales Minister for Finance and Services, Greg Pearce has simplified the means for state government agencies to procure telecommunications equipment, infrastructure and services in a new plan that reflects the O’Farrell government’s broader plan of creating a single and consistent way for agencies to operate procurement.

The scheme has been dubbed as the ITS 2573 Prequalification Scheme – Mr Pearce claims this “optimises” the State Contract 2573, which was “complex and locked out many suppliers, including small businesses”.

As well as simplifying access for NSW government buyers and industry suppliers, the ITS 2573 scheme is meant to be a performance evaluation protocol to identify suppliers and increase competition to get better value for money for agencies.

The new scheme from the Department of Finance to streamline procurement methods of telecommunications for government agencies has echoed the state government’s plans that were heavily promoted throughout 2012 to ease agencies’ trouble in procuring information and communications technology (ICT).

Mr Pearce’s plan dubbed as the NSW Government ICT Strategy 2012 was the government’s attempt to make it easier for information technology vendors to sell their products and services to government.

The Strategy was a principal component in the O’Farrell government’s wider campaign of “procurement reform” by cutting the paperwork it claims previously created difficulties for companies including small businesses to supply products to government agencies.

To keep up the pace with the ever changing landscape of the telecommunications industry, particularly with the continual nationwide rollout of the National Broadband Network (NBN), the NSW government has also claimed that the ITS 2573 scheme will have the ability to evolve over time.

Mr Pearce said more than 80 metropolitan and regional suppliers are already registered and new suppliers will have the opportunity to be added to the scheme at regular intervals.

“The NSW Telco Authority has been working closely with emergency service organisations and other NSW government agencies, as well as other jurisdictions, to drive the reform of government operational telecommunications services,” he said.

He said the new scheme will deliver solutions to enable government agencies to better respond to the needs of communities across the state.

“The NSW Government supports a procurement system that aligns with contemporary market and business practice and doesn’t create unnecessary barriers to innovation,” Mr Pearce said.

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