A number of significant changes are happening to NSW procurement, without, it would seem, much fanfare. On 6 July 2006, the Acting Premier, the Hon. John Watkins, MP, released Premier's Memorandum 2006-11, which announces the procurement reforms that were flagged in Premier, Morris Iemma’s, announcements in his February 2006 Economic and Financial Statement. The reforms will be co-ordinated and implemented by the Department of Commerce.
The key changes are that:
- As of 6 July 2006, all agencies will be required to utilise the State Contracts Control Board (SCCB) whole-of-government contracts;
- an agency accreditation scheme for goods and services will be introduced by July 2007;
- All agencies are to implement electronic procurement of their goods and services by June 2007, with smartbuy® being the Government's default electronic procurement system; and
- www.tenders.nsw.gov.au is to become the single site to be used by all agencies for their Requests for Tender.
The reforms will apply to all NSW Government agencies, including Statutory Authorities, Trusts and other government entities, but not State Owned Corporations.
Each of these reforms will have significant impacts on ICT Suppliers to NSW Government Agencies. As at the heart of the reforms is the desire to drive down cost - by more efficient purchasing. The biggest impacts will be on suppliers of commodity goods or services. It is the governments' intention to achieve better prices through suppliers being assured of access to volume business.
Structural Changes at State Procurement
Another change that has been widely awaited also appears to have been quietly implemented in the last few weeks. According to NSW Government Directory the current structure for state procurement is as follows:
- Tony Solano, Group General Manager, Contracting Services;
- Anthony Lee, General Manager, Tendering and Contracting;
- Peter Elias, General Manager, Client Services;
- Garry Murphy, General Manager, Vendor Management and Performance Reporting; and
- Harry Banga is the General Manager, Strategic Sourcing.
The NSW ICT Strategic Plan to be announced on Thursday 27 July 2006
Meanwhile, the release of the NSW Government‟s ICT Strategic plan, – which has been „imminent‟ for some time, appears set for Thursday 27 July 2006. It will replace the Information Management & Technology Blueprint first published in 1997 and reaffirmed May 2000. The Minister for Commerce, The Hon. John Della Bosca, MP, will release the plan at an invitation only luncheon.
Some insight into what is intended by the plan can be obtained from the Government CIO, Paul. He states on the GCIO website that one of the Office of the Government CIO's (GCIO) and CIO Executive Council's first priorities is developing the NSW Government ICT Strategic Executive Plan. “The Plan will target strategies that:
- are inevitable - we have to have them;
- no one agency can do singularly;
- are common and repeatable between agencies;
- must be uniformly developed to support a whole-of-government agenda;
- provide strategic value."
According to Edgecumbe‟s message, “the intention is to move the focus away from non-core business or 'noise' to free up agency CIOs so that they can direct their attention and efforts to strategic core business needs.” Edgecumbe lists non-core business as including networks, email, security and virus protection, disaster recovery, telecommunications, internet, intranets, finance, human resources, and data storage.