The New South Wales Government is looking to streamline the process of designing contracts for high-value IT purchases, which currently consists of 30-plus downloadable guidance documents that are “unwieldy, extremely difficult to search and a source of frustration to buyers and suppliers alike.”
NSW’s ProcureIT – the contractual framework used when purchasing goods or services from the ICT Services Scheme – is in the early stages of a revamp that will leverage “digitally based user guidance, data analysis, smart recommender and decision-making tools” to make contract design a painless experience.
The tool will embed decision support so that knowledge can be harnessed from existing locations, and potentially learn from NSW’s deep pool of procurement data so it can provide accurate guidance to users.
Ideally, the contract builder will also make it easy to add or remove relevant contract clauses through an intuitive, guided interface, and automatically populate fields with personalised data where suitable. According to the Request for Information (RFI), the new ProcureIT “contract builder” will improve current processes of drafting simple ICT contracts, which is considered by many as “complicated, out of scale to the perceived size and risk of the procurement, and not intuitive for non-experts”.
“The objective of this project is to simplify the construction of ProcureIT by digitising the process and placing all relevant information in a medium that is easily accessible and understandable”, states the RFI released last week.
The new ProcureIT tool will be most beneficial for resource-strapped small agencies and non-government bodies that lack procurement contractual skills. As well as saving time for agencies, the tool will mitigate the risks associated with inadequate contract design.
Other efforts to make services more personalised, proactive and connected include NSW’s recently introduced process of starting a café, restaurant or small bar business that automatically presents users with relevant advice and links based on interactive questioning.
Another example is NSW’s dMarketplace, which will make the process of finding open data sets as easy as using ‘Trip Advisor’ or ‘Wotif’. The dMarketplace is expected to be rolled out by the end of the year.
These digital services are part of the NSW Government’s attempts to keep up with user expectations, which are largely shaped by interactions with the private sector, like financial institutions and the sharing economy.