This month, the New South Wales Department of Customer Service will release, for industry consultation, exposure drafts of a new suite of ICT contract documents which will, once finalised, replace the current Procure IT version 3.2 (Procure IT). This is a highly significant industry development. The adoption of this new contract framework will retire Procure IT and its predecessor versions, which have applied to NSW Government ICT procurement for the last 17 years, and establish a new, refreshed and industry-aligned baseline for the high-value procurement of ICT goods and services by government in the State of New South Wales. Since its development in 2003, Procure IT has been the subject of various iterations. These refinements have been largely incremental, while market practice for best-in-class procurement of ICT goods and services has evolved in a comparatively transformative way.
The new contract framework will:
- significantly simplify the existing contractual model with respect to ICT procurement, and by so doing, reduce paperwork, minimise complexity and make it simpler and more efficient for the private sector to do business with the NSW Government;
- provide enhanced contracting flexibility for both customers and suppliers;
- deliver customers greater control over their ICT procurements;
- be adaptive, in order to respond to the changing needs of government, and facilitate agile development and other project delivery methodologies;
- incorporate protections for customers which are commensurate with high value procurements, while also modernising legacy contract positions to remove historical inefficiencies; and
- streamline and improve the overall user experience.
The new contract framework will also underpin important NSW Government broader policy priorities and support opportunities for small and medium enterprises, Aboriginal organisations, disability enterprises and start-ups doing business with the NSW Government.
The upcoming industry consultation phase represents the culmination of an extensive internal program of work by the Department's Digital Sourcing and ICT Procurement team and its Office of General Counsel. It also follows a period of consultation with NSW government agencies regarding both the new exposure drafts and the refreshed policy framework which will support and complement its implementation.
It has been Clayton Utz’s privilege to work closely with David McGlinchey, Sarah Sandstad, Mark Lenzner, Phillip King, Dora Shipley and Aditya Raizada of the Department of Customer Service in relation to the design, development and preparation of these exposure drafts. From Clayton Utz, the Department is being advised by a multi-disciplinary team assembled across the firm’s information technology, major projects and public sector practice groups, comprising Ken Saurajen, Lina Fischer, Kristina Skamvougeras and Monique Azzopardi.
Further information in relation to the new contract suite and revised policy framework, and the release of the exposure drafts, will be delivered in the Department's industry briefings on 8 and 15 December 2020. Current and prospective ICT suppliers to NSW Government are invited to register their attendance at Eventbrite.