As previously noted in The Medium, the NSW Department of Commerce quietly launched an accreditation scheme for IT service suppliers on 14 June with the issue of an EOI. Commerce did not schedule an industry briefing to explain the accreditation process, despite the high level of interest in the scheme (which has been hinted at by Commerce for the better part of two years). The template being used to assess responses to the EOI provides only two 300-word 'free text' cells for suppliers to detail their offerings. In addition, the EOI overview document leaves many questions unanswered.
Intending respondents would have benefited from having and opportunity to ask Commerce a range of questions. The following list has been prepared by Intermedium:
- How many suppliers are anticipated to go forward from the EOI phase to the restricted RFT phase?
- Which agencies are mandated to use accredited ICT suppliers?
- Are there any mandatory criteria?
- How does this panel sit within the framework of the Australian USA Free Trade Agreement?
- Will the panel be continuously open to new entrants or only open periodically?
- If only open periodically, how often will the panel be open for new entrants? Will suppliers who can provide services off shore be considered?
- Will higher level accredited suppliers be able to contest work at lower value ranges? That is, will an ‘A Level’ supplier (ie those who can compete for work between $500,000 and $10m) be able to compete for B or C level work?
- Under the scheme, can an accredited supplier sub-contract non-accredited ICT suppliers to assist on the contract?
The accreditation arrangements
The new arrangements for IT services suppliers will replace existing panel arrangements. Suppliers may seek accreditation based the length of time the company has been providing ICT services and on turnover.
Only companies with more than five years of experience in providing ICT services and a minimum turnover of $1 million from ICT services for each of the last two years will be able to undertake ICT projects valued at more than $500,000 but less than $10m.