SMEs supplying ICT

The Queensland Government runs a small to medium enterprise (SME) participation scheme policy to help more SMEs supply ICT to government agencies.

We regard SMEs as businesses employing fewer than 200 people. This includes micro-businesses with less than 5 employees.

The ICT SME participation scheme policy* ensures:

  • at least 1 SME responding to an ICT tender and capable of delivering should be short listed in the evaluation of ICT offers
  • the Queensland Government can directly engage SMEs using the SME Access incentive to provide solutions worth up to $500,000 (including GST) that demonstrate value for Queensland in addressing government priorities.

Read the ICT SME participation scheme standard for more on the SME Access incentive.

*Note: All Queensland Government agencies must apply the ICT SME participation scheme policy when procuring ICT products and services.

Requirements for SMEs

You will need to participate in our assessment processes to supply ICT to the Queensland Government.

The process will depend on whether we approach the market informally by obtaining quotes or formally through a full tender process and Invitation to Offer (ITO).

Requirements for government

When we are approaching the market informally, if we are obtaining 2 quotes, we must obtain an offer from at least 1 SME where practical.

If we are obtaining 3 quotes, we must seek offers from at least 2 SMEs where practical.

Approaching the market formally

All formal tenders must include the relevant questions confirming supplier SME status in their Response Schedules.

During offer evaluation, we must allocate 10% of the 100% total evaluation criteria for the purpose of weighting SMEs vs non SMEs.

If you are an SME, you receive the full 10% allocated.

If you aren’t an SME, you receive 0%.

If you are a prime contractor engaging SME sub-contractors to deliver the work, you can receive a portion of the 10% weighting depending on your level of SME participation.

The weighting you receive is calculated on the net proportion of the contract which is to be paid to SMEs.

You can check whether the policy has been applied by asking the tendering agency 2 questions:

  1. Did you apply the SME participation scheme policy?
  2. What SME weighting did I receive?

Requirements for prime contractors

We audit prime contractors and can engage in a withholding process if SME participation requirements are not honoured.

Audit process

Under this policy, our contract managers must verify that the contracted payments have been made to SME suppliers. They will do this by:

  • accepting the prime contractor's assertion of payment
  • requesting proof of payment
  • auditing the prime contractor's financial records.

If you subcontract to a larger vendor, at bid time, you will need to ensure that their response includes your contribution to the overall cost of the project.

Non-compliance will be reported to

Withholding process

Prime contractors who have not met their contracted SME participation levels may be subject to contracted liquidated damages by withholding a proportion of the final payment.

Contact us

Contact ICT Strategic Sourcing on +61 7 3719 7695 or email

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