Victoria’s new unsolicited proposals framework will mean more private sector-led innovations which will improve public service delivery outcomes, claims Premier Daniel Andrews.
The Guidelines for Market-Led Proposals, released by the Department of Treasury and Finance (DTF) in late February 2015, provide an avenue for private parties to contact government to pitch a project or service.
“It is important to provide a transparent and robust framework for considering these proposals so good ideas can be harnessed for the benefit of all Victorians,” states Victorian Treasurer, Tim Pallas in the guidelines’ forward.
Proposals must align with government priorities, be unique, offer a high level of innovation, and provide value for money.
A five-stage assessment process is outlined:
- Filtering of proposals received by government (DTF determines whether proposals are appropriate);
- Strategic assessment and recommendation (DTF decides whether government should proceed through a competitive tender process or exclusive negotiation);
- Investment case and procurement operation;
- Negotiation, development and assessment of final offer; and finally
- Contact awarded.
The guidelines encourage private parties to meet with DTF officers to discuss proposal requirements and assessment criteria before investing resources to prepare a proposal.
Jurisdictions are searching outside normal procurement models more and more in order to discover innovation.
For example, NSW launched the ‘Premier’s Innovation Initiative’ in 2014 to seek solutions to improve government services in four priority areas – social housing, open data, congestion and open ideas. Solutions were sought through an Expression of Interest (EOI) process; NSW considered the initiative a “fourth channel” of procurement. Just in the priority category of Congestion, almost 50 submissions were received with winning applicants being invited to provide more detailed proposals into 2015.
Governments around Australia are also entering into partnerships with the non-government sector to encourage a culture of innovation and a vibrant start-up technology scene.