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Govt needs to improve competition for tech marketplaces: DTA

Govt needs to improve competition for tech marketplaces: DTA

35 per cent of opportunities going out to a single seller on the DTA’s various marketplaces.

Wayne Poels (DTA)

Wayne Poels (DTA)

Credit: DTA

The federal government’s Digital Transformation Agency (DTA) has admitted it “needs to take steps to improve competition” within technology marketplaces.

This is according to Wayne Poels, general manager for digital investment advice and sourcing at the DTA, who said 35 per cent of opportunities are going out to just a single seller across the agency’s cloud, digital services, hardware, software and telecommunications marketplaces.

The figure comes as part of a transparency initiative from the agency on its BuyICT website, which is to offer data about the DTA’s marketplaces on a monthly basis.

“While the DTA cannot direct agencies on their procurement decisions, we will use this data in our engagements with buyers to encourage more competitive practices when approaching the market,” Poels said.

The newly-revealed data also showed the marketplaces have seen a total of over $17 billion pass hands to suppliers.

Of this figure, 44 per cent went to small- to medium-sized enterprises, while over 2 per cent went to Indigenous-owned businesses, which exceed the government’s procurement targets.

“We are seeing some encouraging trends in this data,” Poels said.

“Since 2019, the number of opportunities going through the marketplaces has more than doubled to almost 8,000 opportunities in 2022. The number of sellers has tripled over the same period.”

The act of showing this data on a regular basis, Poels continued, is “more than just a simple data transparency exercise”.

“Agencies can now see the trends, and potential shortfalls, in their procurement practices,” he said. “We will work with them on this to identify if there are capability gaps that we can address, or if we need to advocate for policy change more broadly.”

The publicising of the data, Poels added, marks the completed migration of the Digital Marketplace over to the BuyICT website. In late November, the DTA flagged that its Digital Marketplace would be updated with the establishment of a new Master Agreement for 2024.

“We have been working steadily to migrate and standardise the records and transparency provided in the old Digital Marketplace platform so that this functionality could be rolled out and continue across our marketplaces and whole-of-government arrangements,” he said.


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