So you are a SME (Small to Medium Enterprise) and think it’s impossible to sell your ICT service or product to Queensland Government? Think again!
Did you know all agencies must apply the ICT SME Participation Scheme when procuring ICT products and services? The Queensland Government introduced the scheme a few years ago to help more SMEs supply ICT to government agencies.
SMEs are classified as businesses employing fewer than 200 people and includes micro-businesses with less than 5 employees. For those big guys who think “oh but in Australia or in Queensland we don’t have that many staff”, unfortunately that argument will get you nowhere. Your parent and associated companies combined must be under 200 people. Small is the new niche people (to steal from Seth Godin http://www.sethgodin.com/small/).
The ICT SME participation scheme ensures the following:
- the Queensland Government can directly engage SMEs to provide innovative solutions worth up to $500,000 (including GST) that demonstrate value for Queensland in addressing government priorities.
- when approaching the market informally and obtaining at lest 2 quotes then one must be from an SME and if obtaining 3 quotes then 2 must be from SMEs
- when approaching the market formally, (government are required to advertise all formal tenders on the QTenders website and ensure they include the relevant SME tender clauses (PDF, 11KB)). During offer evaluation, government must allocate 10% of the 100% total evaluation criteria for the purpose of weighting SMEs vs non SMEs and at least one SME responding to an ICT tender and capable of delivering will automatically be short listed in the evaluation of ICT offers.
As a general rule the following applies in a non tender situation under the $500k (*note this may be subject to change):
Who said it pays to be BIG? Don’t believe me check it out yourself: Contact ICT Strategic Sourcing on +61 7 3719 7695 or firstname.lastname@example.org or for more information on the above you can go to https://www.business.qld.gov.au/industry/ict/supply-ict-government/sme-participation.
If anyone has other procurement related or how to sell to government questions, I’m happy to try and answer them for you, just ask.
Following on from my first post http://www.linkedin.com/pulse/want-sell-your-ict-service-product-qld-government-faith-rees?trk=pulse_spock-articles the next step after gaining your QAssure number is to gain Government Information Technology Contracting Framework (GITC) accreditation.
If you are an information and communications technology (ICT) supplier and want to sell to the Queensland Government through the Government Information Technology Contracting (GITC) Framework you must:
hold industry accreditation (QAssure certification)
be accredited under GITC.
Why do you need GITC?
GITC accreditation is an agreement by suppliers to use the GITC Framework terms and conditions. This process is managed by the Department of Science, Information Technology and Innovation. GITC Framework is a standard set of contractual terms and conditions, which need to be agreed to before you deal with government. You can find more info here https://www.business.qld.gov.au/industry/ict/supply-ict-government/accreditation-ict-suppliers and all documents can be found here, including FAQs etc for GITC https://publications.qld.gov.au/dataset/gitc-framework
Do you actually need GITC?
Most procurement people in Qld Government will insist that you have GITC (and also QAssure as you now need a QAssure number before you can gain GITC) and it does make dealing with government much, much easier.
However there are some exceptions to the GITC contract and an agency can elect to use a non-GITC contract, I do you warn you that this is a difficult path to go down as depending on who you are speaking with in a department they may not be familiar with this and I suggest you refer them to the link I have included and please make sure you meet the criteria before pushing the non GITC path. The non-GITC General Contract Conditions template ( http://www.qgcio.qld.gov.au/products/qgea-documents/547-business/2501-procurement-and-disposal-of-ict-products-and-services-is13 see Policy Requirement point 2) is a simplified means by which to engage in the provision of low risk services for ICT contracts up to $1 million. The General Contract Conditions template is available on the Department of Housing and Public Works website and its use is at the discretion of the department themselves. Please note though if they are procuring off an existing Standing Offer Arrangement (SOA) the agreed SOA Conditions and Customer Contract Template must be used.
My next post on this subject will discuss how SME’s can best sell their ICT services and products to Queensland Government. Did you know all agencies must apply the ICT SME Participation Scheme when procuring ICT products and services?
Also a quick note, Queensland Government are currently reviewing the GITC framework to try and make dealing with government easier. If you are interested in the review you can see more information http://www.qld.gov.au/dsiti/gov-ict/buying-selling-ict/gitc-review/overview/ or if you are a member of an ICT association such as IT Queensland (merging into CCIQ), AIIA, ACS to name a few then I suggest contacting your association also.
I meet with a lot of Queensland businesses each day who are building awesome software products or provide awesome ICT services and I continue to get the same questions about how they sell into government. So I’ve decided to create a series of posts that explain the mechanics.
First and foremost you need QAssure accreditation. Via my role as the Chair of IT Queensland (we are currently merging IT Queensland into CCIQ) I am also on the QAssure committee. GITC is your next step and I’ll cover that in my next post.
QAssure is an online registration system that provides vendors with a unique number that ensures they are accredited and pre-qualified as a supplier for State Government ICT contracts. QAssure enables you to get the basics out of the way when dealing with government. QAssure asks for information in terms of your trading history and solvency as an organisations and things like worker compensations and indemnity insurance cover etc. It ultimately tells government that from a general operational, financial and insurance perspective you have things covered. It also means that you should not have to provide this information when tendering or supplying quotes to government as your QAssure number tells government procurement that you have the relevant cover and financial trading history.
There is a cost for QAssure accreditation which is currently $396 inc GST
If you are an information and communications technology (ICT) supplier and want to sell to government through the Government Information Technology Contracting (GITC) Framework you must:
hold industry accreditation (QAssure certification ( https://qassure.com.au/ ))
be accredited under GITC ( https://www.business.qld.gov.au/industry/ict/supply-ict-government/accreditation-ict-suppliers ).
You can find more information here https://www.qld.gov.au/gov/getting-accredited-to-supply-ict and here https://www.business.qld.gov.au/industry/ict/supply-ict-government/accreditation-ict-suppliers
QAssure FAQs here https://qassure.com.au/faq