The Victorian Government hopes to have transitioned to its new eServices Register by 1 July 2013, but before the move can happen it will approach the market to find a software solution that can manage eServices procurements all the way from early market engagement to supplier assessment.
A project timeline, included in a draft implementation plan released this month, suggests that the Department of Treasury and Finance (DTF) intends to have completed the acquisition of a procurement solution by March 2013.
The timeline leaves a minimum of three months for the completion of the system’s configuration and testing to be completed ahead of a July launch.
The completed solution will need to be accessible by both suppliers and agencies through a web portal, and will give users the ability to register their organisation and maintain their own records. The Government hopes that these processes will be simple enough that users will be able to navigate their own way through them, without the need for any additional training.
Implementation of the selected system solution will also involve setting up firewall access in departments and CenITex, and integration with CenITex’s Identity Access Management System (IDAMS).
According to the draft implementation plan, the DTF will approach the procurement of the new solution via a re-use, then buy, then build order of priorities. Research into market offerings will include an analysis of similar solutions currently being used by other jurisdictions.
The DTF will consider both hosted and non-hosted solutions.
The NSW Government is also likely to have an interest in the solution Victoria selects. Its own un-restricted IT services supplier register, which will replace State Contract 2020, also comes into effect soon and will require a simple mechanism for self-registration if it is to fulfil its purpose of streamlining the process of doing business with the State’s public sector.
The draft implementation plan, which will be open to public feedback until Monday 3 December, also drops a number of crucial hints about how the new eServices Register will operate.
While categories of supply have yet to be finalised, it is intended that agencies will be able to procure cloud based Software as a Service (SaaS) and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) as part of a broader solution, through the arrangement.
The final procurement system will also need to have the capacity to electronically operate Best and Final Offer (BAFO) rounds, revealing that the Victorian Government is open to using this method to drive down prices between competitors.
It will also automatically escalate contracts that haven’t met a completion deadline to the attention of senior management, after querying both the supplier and the agency.
In June 2012 Technology Minister Gordon Rich-Phillips announced that a continuously open eServices Register would replace the existing whole-of-government eServices Panel, and applications for membership will open in March 2013, based on meeting minimum insurance and financial sustainability criteria. Current eServices panellists will be automatically transferred across to the new arrangement.
The Government hopes that, in contrast to the lengthy tendering process required to gain membership to the eServices Panel, the process of registering to sell ICT services into the Victorian Government should take “hours rather than days or weeks” under the new system.
Feedback on the draft implementation plan can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org
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