Digital Agency goes for more transparency in IT-government procurement

(June 22, 2022)

The Digital Agency (DA) held its first “Information systems procurement reform investigative committee” meeting on June 21. The committee will look into measures for revision of procurement and contracting methods that include agile development and prevent vender-lock-ins, that will be tied to procurement guidelines and legal reforms. It is expected that the measures will be reflected into government procurement from 2023 onwards.  

The 6-member Committee includes academics, auditors attorneys and specialists on public procurement and will meet 7 times during the coming FY.  The Committee will look into

  1. How to strengthen the system and revise procurement processes such as procurement and contracting methods that include agile development.
  2. Investigate introduction of digital market price and increase tender opportunities for startups towards more better selection methods and a more diverse vendor participation.
  3. Increase transparency and clarity of processes in order to ensure fairness, transparency and prevent vender lock-in.

The committee is also planning to conduct investigations into IT-procurement practices abroad, conduct surveys among private sector companies and have hearing with representatives from the IT sector.

The efforts of the Committee should result in revised procurement guidelines and legal changes related to IT procurement in 2023.

Foreign IT-suppliers will undoubtedly welcome greater transparency in Japanese government procurement practices, as this is often pointed out as to why so few foreign companies make the effort to offer their services and solutions to Japanese government organizations. Whether this will be the case, will become clear in 2023.

Source: Nikkei Xtech, Digital Agency

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