Last week, Chris Tremain, the minister of internal affairs, announced the launch of the cross-government Common Web Services initiative, which aims to streamline the tender processes for central and local government agencies to save time and money. And 42 providers across seven categories have made the cut.
“Agencies requiring web related resources can now select from this panel of providers, complete minimal paperwork, and get on with the job of providing government information and services online," Tremain said in a release. "The panel of providers is comprehensive and includes New Zealand owned and operated small-to medium sized enterprises with specific expertise, as well as larger companies offering a wider range of services. Better procurement practices for government work are vital to ensure that the taxpayer is getting value for money. This streamlined arrangement will reduce red tape and improve efficiency. This initiative demonstrates the government’s commitment to helping citizens and businesses engage with government more easily in a digital environment."
A spokesperson for DIA couldn't be contacted, but according to the webpage, CWS will benefit both government agencies and suppliers alike (as long as those suppliers made it on to the list, of course).
"[Government ] agencies will no longer have to tender for web projects, big or small. This will save staff time, including administrative and legal. This will also allow agencies to develop stronger working relationships with suppliers, which will in turn provide better outcomes. CWS is good for suppliers who will no longer have the expense of preparing tenders for government work. This is likely to benefit small-medium suppliers the most, and will contribute to economic development in this sector."
Although the mandatory procurement rules require all government entities to follow formal processes for contracts worth more than $100,000, many agencies have internal procurement policies that require formal processes for contracts less than $100,000 as well. And while government agencies are "strongly encouraged to participate" and use the panel, it is opt in.
Members of the panel, which were chosen through what was ostensibly a credentials pitch plus interviews, have been appointed for an initial term of two years, with participating agencies and suppliers jointly agreeing to common, carefully considered terms of business.
M&C Saatchi is one of the agencies that has been accepted onto the panel and general manager Aaron White says as the scheme is optional it will have to survive on its merits.
"If the suppliers collectively provide good, honest value for money and deliver great work, we'll have helped create a system that benefits everyone involved. We're completely committed to that."
And Ben Pujji, M&C Saatchi's head of digital, says: "The streamlining of procurement will hopefully mean we can spend more time and energy on doing great work and less on the journey of getting to the start line."
Doug Hanna, chief executive of Terabyte Interactive, another one of the suppliers on the list, says the CWS scheme makes absolute sense because it will improve efficiencies in the procurement process, ensure the state gets better value for money, stop duplications and tighten up on the "enormous variation of systems and suppliers in use".
The other part of the CWS scheme is procuring a single web platform for government entities to use. Hanna, whose company has NZ Trade and Enterprise, NZ Tourism, Christchurch and Canterbury Tourism, NZ Parliament and Auckland and Palmerston North City Councils on its books, says there are an awful lot of content management systems in use at present so this will also "reduce wastage"and make it faster and easier to deploy websites.
The working group responsible for the CWS scheme includes representatives from the Department of Internal Affairs, Treasury, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Culture and Heritage, Ministry of Social Development, Crown Law, Treasury, Inland Revenue, Ministry for Primary Industries, Maritime NZ, PHARMAC, Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, Ministry of Transport, and NZ Transport Agency.
|Affinity ID||www.affinityid.co.nz||Information architects, Usability advisors, Website testers, Front-end developers, Graphical/visual designers, Website technical writers|
|Aura Information Security||www.aurainfosec.com||Website testers|
|Boost New Media||www.boost.co.nz||Information architects, Website testers, Front-end developers, Graphical/visual designers, Website technical writers|
|Catalyst.NET Limited||http://catalyst.net.nz||Information architects, Usability advisors, Website testers, Front-end developers, Graphical/visual designers, Accessibility consultants|
|Chrometoaster New Media Limited||www.chrometoaster.com||Information architects, Front-end developers, Graphical/visual designers|
|ClearPoint Limited||www.clearpoint.co.nz||Front-end developers|
|Clicksuite||www.clicksuite.co.nz||Information architects, Usability advisors, Website testers, Graphical/visual designers|
|Contented Consortium||http://contented.com||Website technical writers, Accessibility consultants|
|Culture Workshop||http://cultureworkshop.co.nz||Information architects|
|Datacom Systems (Wellington) Limited||www.datacom.co.nz||Information architects, Usability advisors, Website testers, Front-end developers, Graphical/visual designers, Accessibility consultants|
|Design By Insight||www.designedbyinsight.com||Information architects, Front-end developers, Graphical/visual designers|
|DNA Design||http://dna.co.nz||Information architects, Usability advisors, Front-end developers, Graphical/visual designers|
|Enlighten Designs||www.enlighten.co.nz||Website testers, Front-end developers, Graphical/visual designers|
|Equinox Limited||www.equinox.co.nz||Website testers|
|Experience||www.experience.net.nz||Information architects, Usability advisors, Front-end developers, Graphical/visual designers, Website technical writers|
|Gusto||www.gustodesign.co.nz||Front-end developers, Graphical/visual designers|
|Heyday||http://heyday.co.nz||Information architects, Usability advisors, Graphical/visual designers, Website technical writers|
|Intergen Limited||www.intergen.co.nz||Information architects, Usability advisors, , Graphical/visual designers, Website technical writers|
|Learning Media||www.learningmedia.co.nz||Information architects, Usability advisors, Website testers, Front-end developers, Graphical/visual designers, Website technical writers, Accessibility consultants|
|Netco||www.netco.co.nz||Website technical writers|
|NV Interactive||www.nvinteractive.co.nz||Information architects, Front-end developers, Graphical/visual designers|
|Ocean Design Group Limited||www.oceandesign.co.nz||Graphical/visual designers|
|Optimal Usability||www.optimalusability.com||Information architects, Usability advisors, Website testers|
|Pikselin (formerly Shift)||http://pikselin.com||Information architects, Usability advisors, Website testers, Front-end developers, Graphical/visual designers|
|Planit Software Testing Limited||www.planittesting.co.nz||Website testers|
|Provoke Solutions Limited||www.provoke.co.nz||Information architects, Usability advisors|
|Qual IT Solutions Limited||www.qualit.co.nz||Website testers|
|M&C Saatchi||www.mcsaatchi.co.nz||Information architects, Front-end developers, Graphical/visual designers|
|Samdog||www.samdog.co.nz||Information architects, Usability advisors, Front-end developers, Graphical/visual designers, Accessibility consultants|
|Signify Limited||www.signify.co.nz||Information architects, Usability advisors, Website testers, Front-end developers|
|SilverStripe Ltd||www.silverstripe.com||Information architects, Usability advisors, Website testers, Front-end developers, Graphical/visual designers, Accessibility consultants|
|Sparks Interactive||www.sparksinteractive.co.nz||Information architects, Usability advisors, Front-end developers, Graphical/visual designers|
|Sysdoc||http://sysdocgroup.com||Information architects, Website technical writers|
|TACTICS Limited||www.tactics.co.nz||Website technical writers|
|Terabyte Interactive Ltd||www.terabyte.co.nz||Information architects, Front-end developers, Graphical/visual designers|
|The Church||www.thechurch.co.nz||Front-end developers, Graphical/visual designers|
|Webstruxure Limited||www.webstruxure.co.nz||Website technical writers|
|Writeclick||www.writeclick.co.nz||Website technical writers|
|Write Limited||www.write.co.nz||Website technical writers|