The NZ Qualifications Authority, which polices the Unit and Achievement standards in high schools, is preparing to appoint several panels of preferred suppliers for application development and integration, project services, technical services, customer services and consultancy services.
There could be from two to five preferred suppliers on each panel and these may be drawn on to provide completely outsourced work or to partner with ICT staff within the NZQA.
The aim is to simplify the future procurement of ICT services while retaining some element of competition.
“This is a new approach designed to achieve both contestability and efficiency in NZQA information services procurement processes,” says spokesman Dave Gillies. Application development will include web-based J2EE work, business process management, content management and business intelligence (BI).
NZQA is implementing a new policy to ensure software quality from its contracted developers “with metrics that can be compared across different projects, products, and vendors”.
Project services include, for example “the supply of personnel in project management and business analysis disciplines,” says the RFP. Technical services are in areas such as such as engineering, architecture, security and database administration to support NZQA’s network, systems operations and applications.
The panel approach is unlikely to cut NZQA off from potential suppliers who are not appointed but develop superior offerings during the planned three-year period of the panel contracts, Gillies says.