IT Services suppliers who missed out on membership of mandatory State Contract 2020 four years ago will finally get a chance to re-enter the NSW Government market in the coming months.
The NSW Department of Finance and Services (DFS) says that the NSW Government ICT Services Scheme, the procurement arrangement set to replace the whole-of-government State Contract 2020, will be operational from 1 March 2013.
Interested suppliers should keep an eye on the recently redesigned ProcurePoint website throughout January and February for more details on when and how to apply for membership of the scheme, according to a notice published on the State’s eTendering portal. State Contract 2020 in its current form will expire for good on 28 February 2013.
Minister for Finance and Services Greg Pearce first revealed his intention to overhaul the 2020 panel to Parliament in June 2012, outlining how the currently restricted panel would be transformed into a permanently open pre-qualification scheme.
“Businesses will see the changes with a new, simplified, online registration and application process, reducing the time and effort taken for small to medium enterprises to become eligible to provide their services to Government,” he said.
Once applications do open, interested suppliers will have the choice of participating in one or both of the Scheme’s categories:
- A Registration Supplier List – for low-value and low-risk services (under $150,000), which will be based on a simplified short-form contract; and
- An Advanced Registration Supplier List – for engagements over $150,000 in value or deemed high risk. This category will be based on the lengthier Procure IT contract framework.
Suppliers who are already signatories to State Contract 2020 will automatically be accredited under both tiers of the new arrangement.
State Contract 2020 is just the first of a number of whole-of-government panels being targeted by Minister Pearce for this treatment.
Pearce’s office confirmed in August 2012 that the Government plans to transform many more fixed-term and fixed-supplier State Contracts into open pre-qualification schemes as they reach their expiries.
“Procurement panels are costly and time consuming for most suppliers and there is no guarantee of work even if they have jumped through a series of cumbersome hurdles.
“The Government is locked into a few suppliers, often for nearly five years, which limits its access to innovations in the marketplace, including better products and better prices,” Pearce told Parliament on 22 August.
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