Case Study: A collaborative model for engaging industry
The Victorian Registration and Licensing (RandL) program is a major whole-of-government business transformation and IT project to provide a solution for 65 regulatory agencies such as the Vic Roads, Department of Environment, and Victoria Police. The solution needed improve customer experience, reduce instances of identity fraud, reduce the cost and complexity of multiple back-office systems and improve public safety and confidence in registration and licensing services with a focus on better data security and access. Due to the complexity of this procurement project and absence of an established market, the program was seeking to strike the balance between engaging industry early and openly while meeting probity requirements about a level playing field.
The project outcome was to deliver an approach that enabled ongoing competitive dialogue with potential vendors and produced better responses to tender. After all, the challenge faced by many procurement leaders is to encourage strong bids rather than create outliers who ‘just did not get it.’
In achieving this outcome, it was crucial to consider probity requirements of fairness and transparency, while encouraging collaborative behaviour between the client and potential vendors.
We brought a new interactive vendor engagement method to the requirements and solutioning phase
We worked collaboratively with the client and the suppliers to:
- Facilitate industry briefings to share the client’s business drivers and solution objectives then in turn facilitate candidate vendors sharing their capabilities and their track records.
- Conduct bid immersion and team simulation exercise to walk through solutions and iteratively tighten the requirements and solution fit.
- Reiterate clear roles and communication boundaries to ensure consistency of messaging and probity consistent with Victorian Government Purchasing Board standards and probity advisor guidelines.
- Tighten the Request for Tender, issue and evaluate the responses to tender.
The interactive vendor engagement leveraged experience with competitive dialogue in the UK but was customised to fit the specific circumstances of the Victorian Government.
What you can learn from this project
- Encouraging transparency and collaboration helps to create ‘informed buyers’ and ‘informed sellers’ for a better fit-for-purpose solution than a traditional RFT process.
- Information sharing can reduce contingency allowances, risk premium and pricing errors.
- Vendors waiving their idea rights in exchange for the ability to shape the RFT to their strengths can be counter-cultural but helps qualify best-fit (to the vendor and client).
- Interactive vendor engagement can still promote probity in the procurement process.
What the client shared about the work
Ombudsman and Auditor-General Director: ‘the IVE process introduced to help improve RandL’s procurement practices represents best practice in Victorian government ICT procurement.’