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Guidance for sourcing cloud services

This guidance helps government departments and agencies to be fair to all suppliers when sourcing cloud services.

Advertising for cloud services providers

You should:

  • set out technical or functional requirements, without referring to vendor or brand-specific services
  • identify any constraints in the procurement activity, and
  • remain open to receiving responses that can meet them.

You should not include requirements in your procurement that limit opportunities to specific suppliers or brands. This approach aligns to the government procurement rules and principles. It means your agency is less at risk of lock-in from a single supplier or branded service.

Best practice example of sourcing

A government agency releases a Request for Proposal (RFP) for a new cloud solution. It is supplier and brand agnostic. It includes the:

  • functional
  • technical, and
  • commercial requirements for the cloud hosting approach.

Requirements may include data security and sovereignty.

The government agency remains open to assessing the supplier on the basis of the requirements. They avoid creating unnecessary obstacles for the market and remain open to new sources of innovation. Potential suppliers can decide if they will take part based on the government agency’s requirements, instead of supplier or brand-named pre-conditions.

What to avoid

A government agency releases an RFP requiring that a new cloud solution must be hosted from a particular supplier or brand. It doesn’t specify the core technical functional requirements for hosting. 

This RFP:

  • limits the number of suppliers who can respond to the RFP
  • excludes some suppliers from the market
  • limits the ability to consider broader outcomes
  • limits opportunity for new innovations.

When to advertise openly

There may be situations where an agency does not need to openly advertise a contract opportunity.

Where an agency exempts a procurement from open advertising, it must:  

  • document the evidence on which it bases its decision. Rule 14 Exemption from Open Advertising; and
  • publish the contract award on GETS, including the reason for the exemption. Rule 48 Contract Award Notices.

Using framework agreements

Your agency should take a primary, not secondary, procurement approach to these services. These framework agreements are not common capabilities agreements.

Framework agreements (agreements) are pan-government contracts with a provider that allows eligible government agencies to buy services under standardised terms. Agencies may still need to carry out a primary procurement process.

Department of Internal Affairs framework agreements on Digital.govt.nz:

Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment framework agreement on Digital.govt.nz:

You can check the status of these framework agreements on Digital.govt.nz:

If you have questions, email the Procurement team.