The Queensland government Chief Procurement Office (QGCPO) has issued an invitation to offer to the ICT industry as part of its latest progress in rolling out a whole of government ICT strategy.
The latest invitation to offer represents but one of a series of tenders that QGCPO is issuing as part of the strategic rollout. While the others are more specific, seeking PCs, servers, and a resource manager, the latest invitation to offer focuses on establishing a panel of suppliers that will feed into those tenders.
Recognising that establishing the panel will result in a large number of suppliers, QGCPO has further divided the ICT services it requires specialist contractors for into three different tranches to ensure that the evaluation period does not run on and that offers remain fresh.
The first tranche, which is the subject of this invitation to offer, will examine the two areas of strategy and architecture, and business change.
Tranche 2 will examine solution development and implementation, and service management. Tranche 3 will look at procurement and management support, and client interface. These latter two tranches are expected to be covered in a subsequent invitation to offer that QGCPO expects to put to the market in the next eight months.
The resulting panel will enable certain contractors to "pre-qualify" for ICT services that the government may need to procure, raising their chances of obtaining work compared to the national pool of applicants, but they will still need to compete against each other.
For projects under AU$5 million, contractors provide the government agency or department with a quote, or Contractor Response, in response to the requirements specification, or Customer Request. Both documents are envisioned to be standardised to cut back on any inefficiencies.
The usual evaluation process is followed thereafter, with any further negotiations made prior to the award of the contract. A final appraisal process will be undertaken at the completion of the contract to provide feedback to each party.
QGCPO hopes to later introduce a vendor management system portal, which should also provide a single point through which the standardised documents can be obtained and submitted, parties educated on the procurement process, and contractors' performance evaluated.
Organisations that are unsuccessful in being invited as a panel member are always able to join at a later date, as the panel is not closed. The QGCPO has stated that it will take, however, about six months for it to evaluate new offers to join. The panel is not limited to a minimum or maximum number of participants.
Those that do make the panel will also have to demonstrate that they are able to consistently and continually supply ICT services. Every 18 to 24 months, the QGCPO will conduct a refresh of the panel, during which it can remove panel members that no longer supply ICT services, or that have a documented history of poor performance.