NSW government wants to help level the playing field for SME IT service providers

The state government wants to increase its technology spend with Indigenous suppliers, startups, and disability suppliers.
Written by Aimee Chanthadavong, Contributor

The New South Wales government has announced it will establish a taskforce to help develop strategies and policies to make it easier for small and medium-sized IT service providers and suppliers to do business with the government.

Dubbed as the ICT and Digital Sovereign Procurement Taskforce, it will be responsible for looking into how the state government can increase its spend with SMEs, including Indigenous suppliers, startups, and disability suppliers, as well as ensuring SMEs get a fair go when competing for IT contracts.

"It's all about levelling the playing field and ensuring small and medium enterprises can compete on an equal footing," Minister for Customer Service Victor Dominello said.

"The NSW government has committed AU$1.6 billion to transforming government services, and this investment will help local small and medium enterprises and start-ups to grow, building critical sovereign capability for the future here in NSW."

Initial members of the taskforce include the Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA), StartupAus, and NSW Indigenous Chamber of Commerce.

As part of the process, the NSW government is seeking feedback on how the strategies and policies that would be developed should look.

Some of the specific areas that state government is seeking feedback on includes the definition of sovereign procurement; the barriers to achieving measurable targets; setting measurable targets for IT sovereign procurement spend; assessing the effectiveness and target outcomes of current procurement policies; and strategies and policies to bridge identified gaps in achieving the gargets.

The deadline to provide feedback closes on August 7.

Last month, the state government launched its one-stop website to help businesses manage their interactions with the state government in one place.

The Service NSW Business Profile platform allows businesses to update their details, complete government transactions, apply for and track grant applications such as COVID-19 financial assistance, and apply for and track vocational licences.

The Business Profile platform is a replica of the state government's citizen-facing Service NSW platform.

The initiative was part of the state government's "Beyond Digital" strategy that was launched in November. At the time, Dominello touted it would build on top of the work already performed by the state government.

Updated 23 July 2020, 2:13pm: Information about taskforce members added.

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