The federal government’s Digital Transformation Agency (DTA) has expanded its Digital Marketplace platform, which will now allow new private sector suppliers to offer a wider range of digital services to government buyers.
The new areas of digital expertise that will be available to public sector procurement officers include cybersecurity, data science, content and publishing, marketing, communications and engagement, as well as support and operations.
This expansion is a significant upgrade to the Digital Marketplace, which was rolled out last year as the Turnbull government’s ambitious initiative to help smaller businesses gain access to the federal government’s $5 billion in annual spending on ICT products and services.
In this latest rollout, DTA interim chief executive officer Nerida O’Loughlin said it would make it simpler for government agencies to find digital services and easier for providers to work with government.
“For our local, state and federal government buyers this means a greater range of expertise is available from companies big and small to deliver a broad range of ICT and digital needs,” Ms O’Loughlin said.
Special Adviser to the Prime Minister on Cyber Security Alastair MacGibbon said the Digital Transformation Agency opens up the marketplace to cyber security experts.
“Governments need to have a strong focus on cyber security and sourcing expertise locally benefits both government and industry,” Mr MacGibbon said.
“I often hear that government procurement methods are a barrier for small cyber security businesses”
He said the Digital Marketplace removes some of the pain points, making it much easier for companies to connect with government.
“This is about creating opportunities for innovative local firms,” Mr MacGibbon said.
Ms O’Loughlin said an important feature of the marketplace was its ability to cater to small to medium enterprises.
“The marketplace levels the playing field for sellers who may not previously have worked with government, and, through increased competition, helps government buyers get greater value for money.”
Ms O’Loughlin said another new feature was an option for government buyers to search for services that supported their diversity procurement targets.
“Sellers can badge themselves as a business type including a startup, small-to-medium enterprise, and Indigenous-owned or disability enterprise, which helps government buyers support the growth of a range of different businesses,” Ms O’Loughlin said.
The DTA said that it is ‘expected’ that the expansion of the marketplace will lead to a doubling of the number of registered sellers in the coming weeks.