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Getting Industry Engagement Right

Ingrid shares some practical tips to engage with industry stakeholders, without falling afoul of some key legal and probity requirements.

Early industry engagement is critical to government deriving innovative, collaborative and leading-edge solutions from the market.

It is in the interest of government and industry to leverage the
benefits of continuous information sharing, reducing procurement
costs, and defining a clear and achievable path forward.

Industry engagements that are poorly planned or executed can go
horribly wrong. Nobody wants to waste valuable time and energy, or
jeopardise the probity and integrity of a procurement process. Poorly
planned or executed industry engagements can result in serious
reputational risk, poor value for money outcomes, and significant
time delays for government and industry.


There are a range of different ways to promote engagement with
industry. Common methods include:

Horizon Scanning

Horizon scanning typically involves broader strategic discussions with industry about market, economic and political conditions, including potential opportunities and threats.

Market research/soundings

Market research can involve engaging with industry to understand whether a competitive market exists for the proposed procurement activity, the ability of industry to deliver the capability, as well as feedback on trends, delivery models and future capabilities.

Bidder conferences/ industry briefings

Conferences or briefings with bidders (suppliers) occurs after a formal procurement
has commenced. It allows the buyer to elaborate on the procurement activity, while also allows bidders to ask questions about commercial and technical aspects and risks.

Indicative approaches to market (e.g. Requests for Information)

This involves a more structured and formal indicative approach to market and seeking feedback from industry.

“There was a consensus among industry stakeholders that collaboration between government and industry over ICT procurements was poor and must be improved. Industry stakeholders pointed to agencies’ strict interpretation of probity requirements as being responsible for excluding
many types of engagement with industry.”

Digital Transformation Agency - Report of the ICT
Procurement Taskforce (2020)

About the Author

Founded by James Dun and Sing King, Proximity brings together brilliant minds in consulting, legal and commercial to work in collaboration with their clients. Their multidisciplinary approach takes their clients further and enables the delivery of ex...