Government seeks syndicated web services supply

First RFP is for seven categories of development-related services

Web-related services are the latest to be made the subject of an all-of-government syndicated request for proposal in a quest to trim ICT expenditure and make procurement more efficient.

The first RFP is for seven categories of development-related services: information architects, usability advisors, website testers, front-end web developers, graphical / visual designers, website technical writers and accessibility consultants.

A second RFP will be issued later this month or next, for a “managed platform supplier that can provide one or more Content Management Systems (CMSs) plus a consolidated platform that can host multiple websites.”

The two tendering exercises are intended to remedy “the significant level of duplicated investment made by government agencies on web initiatives and the associated variability in the quality of service delivery through the web channel,” says lead agency the Department of Internal Affairs.

Up to 20 suppliers may be brought onto a panel for long-term supply of these services to all government departments. This is likely to leave the participating government agencies with plenty of choice of suppliers for some of the categories.

“DIA and the Working Group consider this to be a reasonably sized panel given the large number of eligible agencies and the fact that the panel arrangements will span seven different resource types,” says the RFP. “The final number of panel members is likely to depend on the nature and quality of responses received from respondents.”

The “working group” referred to is made up of representatives of 10 agencies seen as likely to purchase some of the specified services in the near term.

A variety of central government agencies – public service departments, Crown entities and others such as Police and Defence Force – will be eligible to deal with the panel, but local authorities will have to apply to the Ministry of Economic Development’s procurement team for permission to use the arrangement.

Once the panel is in place, agencies may approach any of the panel suppliers directly for a project valued below $50,000, but for anything above this value the agency is expected to ask for short proposals from several of the panel members before making a decision.

If a certain supplier has done previous related work so the project can be realistically considered “ongoing” and that supplier has experience of the project, then the agency will be able to approach them directly.

Closing date for proposals is June 15 and the choice of panel members is expected to be made by early August.

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