This guide answers the most common questions vendors have about Government ICT Common Capabilities. If the information you are looking for is not here try the Governance and Leadership and Government ICT Strategy pages of this site. Alternatively, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
1. What’s the difference between open panels and closed panels?
2. What is an Authorised Party?
3. What are the rules of sourcing?
4. Can I supply an offshore solution?
5. What’s the benefit of being on an ICT Common Capability panel?
6. What’s the process of getting involved in a procurement?
7. How long does the procurement process take?
8. What’s an ICT Common Capability contract?
9. What happens if I go through the RFP process and I’m not awarded a contract?
10. Who are the eligible agencies?
11. What’s the difference between DIA’s ICT Functional Leadership role and MBIE’s Procurement Functional Leadership role?
12. How can I get my product/service to be an all-of-government service?
13. I have a product that would be a good fit to extend services on an established panel. How do I get involved?
14. How are ICT common capabilities governed?
We use both open and closed panels of service providers to deliver Government ICT Common Capabilities. On an open panel, additional service providers can apply to join the panel during its contract period. Or, current service providers can apply to provide services in additional categories. This is invited through a notice published on the Government Electronic Tenders Service (GETS) where service providers are invited to respond by a set time/date. Respondents are evaluated using the same criteria specified in the initial RFP.
Closed panels do not allow additional service providers to apply to join the panel during its contract period. Only the service providers initially selected will be on the panel for the duration of the contract.
An Authorised Party can be either an eligible agency or a third-party supplier that has been approved, by the Lead Agency, to procure services under the Common Capability ICT Contract, provided that procurement is solely for the benefit of an eligible agency.
Eligible agency means:
- each Public Service department, as defined in section 27 of the State Sector Act 1988
- the New Zealand Defence Force, the New Zealand Police, the New Zealand Security Intelligence Service, the Parliamentary Counsel Office, the Clerk of the House of Representatives and the Parliamentary Service
- each Crown Entity, as defined in section 7 of the Crown Entities Act 2004
- each organisation listed in the fourth schedule to the Public Finance Act 1989
- the Reserve Bank of New Zealand
- the Office of the Controller and Auditor-General, the Office of the Ombudsmen, and the Office of the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment
- each corporation listed in the first schedule to the State Owned Enterprises Act 1986
- each local authority, as defined in section 5 of the Local Government Act 2002
- any other organisation, agency or collection of persons that does not fall within the above categories but which the Centre of Expertise or Lead Agency (as applicable) and the Procurement Functional Leader determines should be treated as an eligible agency.
The Government Rules of Sourcing were issued by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE), as Government Functional Lead for procurement, and came into effect in October 2013. The second edition came into effect on 26 May 2014 and is available from MBIE’s website. The rules establish sourcing processes that are consistent and predictable, making it easier for agencies and suppliers to engage with each other. Compliance with the rules is compulsory for Public Service departments, New Zealand Police and the New Zealand Defence Force. Agencies in the State Services (other than New Zealand Police and the New Zealand Defence Force) are expected to have regard to the rules as good practice guidance. Wider State sector agencies are encouraged to have regard to the rules as good practice guidance. The latest guidance on these groupings can be found on the State Services Sector website
Each Request for Proposal (RFP) will usually indicate whether or not provision of an offshore solution will be considered. All State services are expected to apply the process agreed by Cabinet in October 2013 in the cloud computing risk and assurance framework. A key point of this framework is the expectation that agencies will use the “Cloud Computing Information Security and Privacy Considerations” (April 2014) issued by the Chief Executive of DIA acting in his role as Government Chief Information Officer (GCIO) when making a decision on sourcing of cloud computing solutions regardless of whether the solution is hosted offshore or onshore.
Once a service provider has been selected for an ICT common capability panel, they do not have to go through a full procurement process again with Authorised Parties. An Authorised Party follows a simple process to select a service provider(s) from the panel, then signs an agreement with their chosen service provider(s). The Rules of Sourcing provide further guidance on this process.
Undertaking procurement once saves time and cost for both parties. All service providers sign up to the same terms and conditions of contract with the Lead Agency and each participating or subscribing party, providing consistency across suppliers and consuming parties.
The first key step is to ensure you are registered with the Government Electronic Electronic Tenders Service (GETS) and have selected the appropriate category codes for your industry.
All open tenders will be advertised through GETS and if they correspond to your selected industry codes, you will receive an automatic email notification that a tender has been listed.
Download the documents, attend a briefing, if one is available, and then prepare your response for submission following the instructions in the documentation.
The time taken can vary, depending on the complexity of the procurement, the number of responses received and whether or not it is a single or two-stage tender process. The Rules of Sourcing also set minimum timeframes for parts of the process.
Based on experience to date, the time from release of a tender on GETS to final contract award and signing can vary from 6 – 12 months.
It is a type of collaborative contract for the procurement of ICT goods and services. It is developed under the oversight of the Government Chief Information Officer (GCIO) at DIA (in its role as Functional Leader) and approved by MBIE (in its role as Procurement Functional Leader). There are two types of ICT Common Capability contracts – mandatory and voluntary.
- Mandatory contracts: Agencies must purchase from these contracts where the contract reasonably meets the agency’s needs. An agency that wants to opt-out of purchasing from this type of contract must get approval from the GCIO.
- Voluntary contracts: Agencies should purchase from these contracts where the contract reasonably meets the agency’s needs.
ICT Common Capability contracts differ from All-of-Government and Syndicated Contracts because they contain the Authorised Party provision (see Question 2 for definition of Authorised Party).
Once the procurement is completed and contracts have been signed with the successful supplier(s), then unsuccessful respondents will be offered a debrief session to understand the strengths and weaknesses of their proposal and how they may improve future proposals.
If you submitted a response for an open panel, then you will be able to submit a new response when the Standing Request is advertised on GETS again and the panel is opened for new admissions.
If you responded to a closed panel or single supplier RFP, then there will not be an opportunity to apply again until the contract expires.
ICT Functional Leadership applies to 29 Public Service departments and four Non-Public Service departments, as well as Crown agencies such as Accident Compensation Corporation, Earthquake Commission, Housing New Zealand Corporation, New Zealand Transport Agency, New Zealand Trade and Enterprise, New Zealand Qualifications Authority, Tertiary Education Commission and District Health Boards. However, all government sector agencies are eligible and encouraged to participate in our all-of-government ICT initiatives and contracts.
See question 2.
DIA and MBIE have Functional Leadership roles in different areas. DIA is tasked with ICT Functional Leadership, which means:
- setting policy, direction and standards for government ICT
- improving ICT investment system-wide
- establishing and managing all-of-government ICT services
- shaping and developing government ICT capability
- providing ICT Assurance across government.
MBIE’s role is to lead an all-of-government approach for procurement. In both cases, the organisations work collaboratively with state agencies to achieve government’s ambitions.
There is a formal procurement process for all-of-government services. This is advertised through requests for information (RFI) and RFPs on the Government Electronic Tenders Service (GETS) website: www.gets.govt.nz.
If the panel is an open panel, please contact the Product Manager listed for the common capability to see if there are any Standing Requests and when you can apply.
If the panel is closed, you may wish to work with suppliers who are on the panel in the first instance. You can also submit a response when the panel contract expires and we next call for applications. This call will be published on the Government Electronic Tenders Service (GETS) website.
This depends on the common capability and its relationship to other common capabilities. The governance structure is determined at a contractual level. DIA, as the Lead Agency for the contract, manages and measures the service performance of the contract.