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We’ve all been there. You need to hire someone to do a web job. Maybe you need a front-end developer or a visual designer. Maybe you need an accessibility consultant. But the amount of work you need to do just to get them on board is overwhelming. Sometimes it seems just too hard.

Not anymore.

Saving Time and Money

There’s a new procurement initiative designed to save you time and money. It’s called Common Web Services, led by the Department of Internal Affairs, and it allows government agencies to engage online expertise from an approved list of 42 providers. Minimal paperwork. No complicated contract. Couldn’t be easier.

It’s optional, but it’s been designed to reduce red tape and improve efficiency. You will need to get your procurement people to give it the once over to make sure they are happy with it, and you still need to follow your agency’s internal procurement procedures.

From Agencies, for Agencies

Internal Affairs has worked closely with 12 other agencies to deliver this initiative. Basically, we’ve gone through the complicated RFP (request for proposal) process so you don’t have to.

We’ve selected a panel of providers that is comprehensive and includes a wide variety of vendors—from New Zealand owned and operated, small-to-medium sized enterprises with specific expertise, all the way up to larger companies offering a wider range of services.

To cover the cost of running the panel, there’s an initial annual fee of $2,000 per agency. We’ve worked to keep this fee as low as possible. Given the time it can take you to go through an RFQ (request for quote) or an RFP, negotiate contracts, and have those contracts reviewed by your legal team, it still ends up cheaper to use the panel in most cases. Each year we will look at how much time we are spending on running the panel, and how many agencies are using it, and change the fee to make sure we only recover our costs—so the more agencies that use the panel, the less it will cost everyone to use it.

It’s a syndicated procurement panel, which means just about anyone in government can use it. The Ministry of Primary Industries has already signed up to use it, and we are getting enquiries from lots of other agencies.

Services Provided

The panel includes the following services:

  1. Information architects
  2. Usability advisors
  3. Website testers
  4. Front-end web developers
  5. Graphical/visual designers
  6. Website technical writers
  7. Accessibility consultants

Common Publishing Platform

The Department of Internal Affairs is also in the process of setting up a single web platform for agencies to use. It will be a hosted content management system that will be available across government. We’re evaluating the responses we got to the RFP now, and I’ll post here again when that’s ready.

More Details

Check out the ict.govt.nz website for more details on the syndicated web services panel, including details on who can use it, what providers are on it, and heaps of FAQs.

What do you think? Tell us below.

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