How to buy

Date: 18 Dec 2019 - 27 Nov 2020
Updated: 27 Nov 2020
Managed:
Type: Whole of government

Tools and templates

Buying via the scheme

Procure IT Framework resources

Identifying, assessing and managing risks

Using eQuote

Buying on eQuote

You may use eQuote to request quotes from prequalified suppliers.

Buying ICT consulting

NSW Government has adopted an ICT standard commercial framework which applies to ICT consultancy only.

The commercial framework includes standard resource types, capped resource rates, capped expenses and a discount structure.

For ICT consultancy engagements up to $250,000 (ex GST), buyers can conduct direct negotiations and engage suppliers who accept the ICT consulting commercial framework directly, without having to get 3 quotes from the market.

See ICT commercial framework summary PDF, 534.63 KB for more details.

The ICT consulting services process diagram PDF, 209.3 KB summarises the sourcing process.

Tools and templates for buying ICT consulting

Plan stage

  1. Project brief template DOCX, 146.38 KB
  2. Procurement strategy template DOCX, 931.96 KB

Source stage

  1. Request for quotation - part A – specification DOCX, 969.75 KB
  2. Request for quotation - part B – response XLSM, 2937.6 KB
  3. Statement of works template DOCX, 141.85 KB
  4. Supplier engagement compliance checklist for standard commercial framework - recommended XLSM, 2974.91 KB
  5. Commercial comparison tool XLSM, 231.28 KB
  6. Negotiation pack PPTX, 598.11 KB

Manage stage

  1. Performance report template DOCX, 46.37 KB

Buying telecommunication

Please visit the Operation Telecommunications Equipment, Infrastructure and Services scheme to find out more about telecommunication procurement arrangements.

FAQs for buyers

Who is a buyer under the ICT Services Scheme?

Under the ICT Services Scheme, buyers are NSW government agencies and eligible non-government bodies (such as universities or NGOs).

As per Procurement Board Direction 2020-04,  NSW Government agencies must use this scheme to procure ICT-related goods and services.

Which policies I must abide by?

The NSW Procurement Board can issue policies and directions relating to the ICT Services Scheme. These are only mandatory for NSW Government agencies. Some of the policies that buyers must adhere to include:

Where can I find information and resources about the ICT Services Scheme?

Resources available online include:

Where can I find the contracts to buy from the scheme?

The contracts and other documents you and your prospective suppliers need to undergo procurement for ICT goods and services under the ICT Services Scheme are:

Which suppliers are on the ICT Services Scheme?

Download the list of prequalified suppliers XLSX, 1793.09 KB

What are the requirements to select suppliers on the ICT Services Scheme?

Unless otherwise specified, the ICT Services Scheme adopts the use of Procurement Board Direction 2020-04 and Procurement Board Direction 2020-05.

When undertaking ICT procurement under the ICT Services Scheme, agencies must follow the provisions in that direction.

This does not affect any other mandated procurement policies including for instance, conducting a risk assessment, internal approval processes, agency delegations manual etc.

How do I choose between suppliers on the ICT Services Scheme?

The selection of suppliers depends on the value of the contract.

We recommend using eQuote to seek quotes (RFQ) from suppliers on the scheme.

Does my agency have to use the ICT Services Scheme?

Yes. Procurement Board Direction 2020-04 mandates government agencies (within the meaning of the Public Works and Procurement Act 1912) to use the  ICT Services Scheme.

What if the supplier I want to use is not on the ICT Services Scheme?

To comply with Procurement Board Direction 2020-04, you should encourage the supplier to apply to the ICT Services Scheme.

How do I request quotes (RFQs) under the scheme?

Buyers can conduct RFQs using eQuote.

Using eQuote, you can issue, manage and award RFQs online from suppliers on prequalification schemes and panel arrangements.

You can organise access to eQuote by contacting your agency’s eTendering administrator or NSW Procurement at nswbuy@treasury.nsw.gov.au

How are suppliers accepted on the scheme?

Different criteria applies to suppliers depending on whether they have applied for the registered supplier list or for the advanced registered supplier list.

Details of the supplier acceptance criteria for both supplier listings are provided in the ICT Services Scheme Rules DOCX, 82.42 KB.

Can a supplier be on both the registered supplier list and the advanced registered supplier list?

Yes. Suppliers can apply for either or both supplier listings.

How do I know if my ICT service requirements are high risk?

A risk assessment tool is available in the risk assessment toolkit DOCX, 319.4 KB.

You can also consult your internal procurement team.

What terms and conditions have suppliers agreed to in order to be an approved supplier on the scheme?

All suppliers have agreed to a set of ICT Services Scheme Rules DOCX, 82.42 KB

Does Procure IT part 1 head agreement apply to engagements with advanced registered suppliers?

No. The head agreement of Procure IT v3.2 is not applicable to the ICT Services Scheme because the scheme is not a panel arrangement.

To enter into a customer contract, advanced registered suppliers and customers must to execute the following documents of Procure IT v3.2:

  • part 2 customer contract
  • general order form
  • any applicable schedules and modules.

Do I need to fill in item 7 of Procure IT v3.2 general order form?

No. Item 7 should be left blank because it only applies to panel arrangements with a head agreement.

Item 11 of the general order form allows you to specify that the customer contract (the order) is placed under the ICT Services Scheme.

If I intend to place multiple orders with a supplier on the advanced registered supplier list, does the Procure IT v3.2 customer contract need to be executed for each order?

No.  For multiple orders with the same supplier, execute the customer contract once.

However, both parties must execute a separate general order form and applicable schedules and modules for each and every order, regardless of whether it is with the same supplier.

What is the EPP Direction and how does it affect me as a buyer?

Procurement Board Direction PBD 2019-05 Enforceable Procurement Provisions (EPP Direction) establishes requirements for NSW Government agencies arising from international procurement agreements for covered procurements (which currently includes, procurements of ICT related goods and services with an estimated value of at least $680K). In accordance with Part 6 of the EPP Direction, the ICT Services Scheme is a procurement list. NSW Government agencies should familiarise themselves with Part 6 of the EPP Direction, PBD 2020-05 - Approved procurement arrangements for the ICT Services Scheme and particularly, clause 14 of the ICT Services Scheme Rules DOCX, 82.42 KB.

What steps do I have to take when buying above the EPP threshold ($680K) from the ICT Services Scheme?

The ICT Services Scheme is a procurement list in accordance with Part 6 of the EPP Direction. When procuring from the ICT Services Scheme, if the procurement has an estimated value of at least $680K, NSW Government agencies are able to invite a limited number of suppliers registered on the ICT Services Scheme. This is in accordance with section 25(3)(j) of the EPP Direction, clause 14 of the ICT Services Scheme Rules and PBD 2020-05.

The justification for the limitation and the criteria for selecting the relevant suppliers must be based on clauses 14.1 and 14.2 of the ICT Services Scheme Rules respectively.

It is not mandatory to invite only a limited number of suppliers registered on the ICT Services Scheme.

Agencies should aim to vary the suppliers they invite to select tenders, to ensure they are encouraging fair competition wherever possible.

What are the arrangements for acquiring hardware?

Procurement Board Direction 2020-04 mandates NSW Government agencies to use:

Devices and services available on these whole-of-government contracts are excluded from the ICT Services Scheme.

That means buyers cannot buy these devices and services via the ICT Services Scheme.

What is the GSS and why is it excluded from supply through the scheme?

The GSS is the Government Standard Specification.

It describes a range of standard office-type end user devices and services purchased in high volumes by NSW Government. A list of end user devices and services can be found in Contract 999 ICT End User Devices and Services.

The models and prices for the GSS have been negotiated with the suppliers on contract 999. NSW Government agencies must use contract 999 when procuring specified End User Devices and Services as per Procurement Board Direction 2020-02.

Is disposal of hardware included in the scope of the scheme?

No. Disposal of hardware and other end user services (such as asset tagging, pre-delivery configuration, pre-delivery imaging, basic installation, extended installation, sanitisation services and decommission services) are available through Contract 999 ICT End User Devices and Services.

Is there any crossover or duplication between the ICT Services Scheme and Contract 2390 Imaging Devices?

No. All imaging devices must be purchased through Contract 2390 Imaging Devices unless provided “as a service” and owned by the service provider.

The whole-of-government contract 2390 is mandatory for short term rentals and purchase of hardware devices including MFD, as per Procurement Board Direction 2020-04.

What software cannot be purchased through the ICT Services Scheme?

Software available through whole-of-government contracts must be acquired by those agreements, not via the ICT Services Scheme.

Whole-of-government contracts include:

Am I allowed to procure software from an authorised reseller or distributor of software licences?

Yes. Licensed software, subscription and support services from authorised resellers and distributors are covered by Category M09: Software Resellers and Software Asset Management Services.

How is the supply of software under Category N different to supplying software under the other categories?

Category N is for the acquisition of perpetual software licences and related support. Software as a service and other ICT and software-related services are covered by other categories.

What does the ICT consulting commercial framework apply to?

The ICT consulting commercial framework applies to all ICT consulting services engagements contracted under the ICT Services Scheme from 15 March 2020 onwards.

The ICT Services Scheme has been updated to reflect this. The changes introduced for ICT consulting services within the ICT Services Scheme are consistent with the current terms of the Business and Advisory Services (BAS) within the Performance and Management Services Scheme (SCM005).

What is the definition of ICT consulting services?

The definition of ICT consulting services is where output is report, advice, strategic plan or audit.

There are 7 sub-engagement types under ICT consulting services:

  • ICT strategy, planning and design
  • ICT risk management, compliance and security
  • ICT policy
  • ICT audits
  • ICT change management
  • ICT project management
  • ICT training and development.

What are the commercial elements of the ICT consulting commercial framework?

The commercial elements of the framework are:

  • capped daily rates for consulting fees
  • minimum discounts based on engagement size and secondments
  • standard policy on disbursements that are billable
  • recommended resource mix targets
  • monthly reporting by request.

See ICT commercial framework summary PDF, 534.63 KB for more details.

What were the key changes for buyers?

For engagements up to $250k excluding GST, buyers can conduct direct negotiations and engage suppliers who accept the ICT consulting commercial framework directly, without having to get 3 quotes from the market.

If buyers wish to engage suppliers who do not accept the ICT consulting commercial framework, they must follow a more stringent approval process, including:

  • have the Secretary, Executive Agency Head or cluster Chief Financial Officer approve the engagement, but only once satisfied that work cannot be undertaken under the standard commercial framework
  • ensure engagements are competitively bid with at least three bids to ensure value for money
  • report information about the engagement upon approval through the Board’s Major Supplier's Portal.

Agencies must report any contract with a supplier that has not accepted the standard commercial framework, including contracts outside the PMS Scheme.

What were the key changes for suppliers?

Suppliers who accept the ICT consulting commercial framework can conduct direct negotiations and be engaged without buyer agencies having to get 3 quotes from the market.

Suppliers who accept the ICT consulting commercial framework may be requested to report their activities with NSW Government on a monthly basis.

Suppliers who did not accept were required to update their status to ‘I do not accept’.

Who oversees the ICT consulting commercial framework?

ICT & Digital Sourcing at the Department of Customer Service oversees compliance, manages breaches, reviews suppliers, collects feedback, among others.

How can buyers find non-compliant suppliers?

The list of suppliers who do not accept the framework will be updated in the next Procurement Board Direction.

Does the ICT commercial framework apply to tenders released on eTendering or any ICT consulting project/bid open or received directly from NSW Government agencies?

The framework applies to all ICT consulting projects, regardless of which platform it is released.

What is the total contract value? How is it calculated?

Please see the suppliers selection section in the ICT Services Scheme handbook for buyers PPTX, 11155.1 KB.

Which threshold should be used – the ICT commercial framework threshold or agencies’ own thresholds?

For engagements up to $250K ex GST, agencies can conduct direct negotiations and engage suppliers who accept the framework directly, without having to obtain 3 quotes from the market.

The ICT commercial framework threshold does not overwrite agencies' thresholds.

Which threshold should be used for supplier selection?

The ICT commercial framework applies to tender (resource rates, disbursements, discount structure and resource mix) and supplier reporting.

The ICT commercial framework threshold does not impact vendor selection thresholds:

  • use the registered supplier list for engagements up to $150k
  • use the advanced supplier list for engagements over $150k.

If the engagement includes a mix of ICT consulting and other services, do the framework rates apply to all components of the project or just ICT consulting tasks?

The framework capped rates apply only to ICT consulting components.