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Queensland seeks whole-of-government contract lifecycle management solution

by Aleks Vickovich •
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The Queensland Chief Procurement Office (QCPO) within the Department of Public Works plans to establish a whole-of-government Contract Lifecycle Management (CLM) Solution.  The intention to enter into a standing offer arrangement (SOA) was published on the QLD tender website on November 4 2010.  It is intended that the SOA aarrangement will be in place for three years, with the possibility of two 12-month extensions. 

According to tender documents, the CLM Solution will support “all Queensland Government Departments and other Queensland Government entities to improve their contract development and management processes”.

“It is envisaged that significant gains in productivity and uniformity can be achieved by stematically and efficiently managing contract creation, collaboration, execution, administration, reporting and analysis as a continuum throughout the contract lifecycle to maximise financial and operational performance and minimise risk,” the documents state. 

The successful offeror will ultimately provide a solution in one of the following formats:

  • A Software as a Service (SaaS) solution;
  • An externally hosted solution (private cloud); or
  • An internally hosted solution (behind the firewall).

While the QCPO does not explicitly specify any preference among these solutions, tender documents acknowledge “the potential risks that may be involved in the deployment of a SaaS solution”.  In an effort to minimise this risk, offers will be “subject to a ‘due diligence’ process that will be conditional on respondents providing detailed information the requirements”.

Regardless of which type of solution is provided, the QCPO expects that there are a number of business activities performed “within each stage of the contract lifecycle process that can be more efficiently and effectively managed through a CLM Solution”.   The business activities include:

  • Procurement planning and strategy development;
  • Contract (Arrangement) Formation;
  • Contract (Arrangement) Management;
  • Negotiation and application of due diligence;
  • Offer Evaluation;
  • Finalisation and award of contracts; and
  • Completion and renewal of contracts.

It is intended that the preferred supplier (‘offeror’) conduct a pilot of the solution.  If the pilot is assessed as a success, it will be implemented within the QCPO and then rolled out to other Queensland Government agencies under the SOA. 

The tender documents list five distinct components of CLM solution specification:

1.    “A schedule of business activities performed by Contract Managers for each of the Key Processes in the procurement lifecycle with clear statements as to the System Functionality required for their effective performance;

2.    The reporting requirements of the solution;

3.    A definition of Security Requirements designed to achieve the required high standards of probity and security;

4.    The functionality required of the solution for Accessibility and Ease of Use; and

5.    The provision of detailed information on SaaS architecture, security, integration, upgrades, maintenance, customer support/help desk and implementation”.

The tender documents state that the successful offeror must be a current signatory to the Government Information Technology Contracting (GITC) Version 5 under the licensing software, software support services and managed services modules.

The documents emphasise that ‘value for money’ consideration will play a large role in the evaluative process.  However, there is also a stipulation that the successful offeror will provide a solution that is exemplary of “sustainable procurement”.  “The expectations on suppliers in terms of their sustainability performance will progressively increase over the duration of the ICT Arrangement,” the documents state.

This condition is in line with the Queensland Government’s State Procurement Policy 2010 which specifies a requirement of “sustainable procurement considerations relating to both the environment and the ethical behaviour of suppliers”.  Agencies are also expected to “include sustainable procurement strategies and targets in the Corporate Procurement Plan and report annually on progress against targets in the plan”.

As such, suppliers are expected to demonstrate their environmental management, corporate responsibility and greenhouse gas emission reducing practices in their application.

The approach to market for software of this kind is not unprecedented, with Queensland Health implementing a contract lifecycle management system from July 2010, according to the agency’s website

Across the border, the Office of NSW Procurement issued a call for expressions of interest for provision of contract lifecycle management software in October 2008, followed by an official request for tender in May 2009.  This subsequently resulted in a $1.5 million contract with Ariba in December 2009.

The QCPO will cease accepting offers at 2pm on Monday December 6. 

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