The Victorian government has switched over to its new eServices Register for the procurement of IT services.
The new register was launched by Technology Minister Gordon Rich-Phillips at an Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA) event in Melbourne on Monday. It replaces the eServices Panel, and is expected to help make government procurement processes more efficient and improve opportunities for small to medium IT businesses.
"The Victorian government will have better access to the small to medium-sized Victorian-based ICT companies that are often at the forefront of industry innovation — and maximise their opportunities to win government ICT contracts."
The IT industry was repeatedly consulted on the formation of the new register, with the state government asking for feedback on its high-level implementation plan in August 2012, and again on its draft implementation plan a few months later, in November.
The register will include an online self-service portal to allow suppliers and government departments to provide feedback on engagement and service delivery. All state government departments and agencies will be required to use the register for IT procurement, and supplier membership is governed by a simple eligibility criteria. Former eServices Panel suppliers are already considered eligible to join the new register.
The register itself is powered using SAP's Ariba Network, which Rich-Phillips said fits with the state's IT strategy to use commercial off-the-shelf software to provide value for money where possible.
AIIA's Victorian chair Kee Wong applauded the government's rollout of the register as an example government working together with industry.
"The eServices Register represents a collaborative effort between the government, AIIA, and industry to improve government's access to a broad range of quality ICT services," he said.
"Providing the opportunity for a larger pool of companies, including local small and medium-sized ICT businesses to offer their services to government will stimulate innovation, drive a healthy and competitive market, and [create] an enabling environment for our entrepreneurs of the future."