Western Australia's IT community has drawn a collective sigh of relief after State Minister Clive Brown last week suspended the WA MAID program until sufficient industry consultation has occurred.
The WA Government presented the local IT industry with a draft of the contentious WA MAID (Major Alliances for Industry Development) program in earlier this year.
Under the proposed MAID initiative, ICT companies that accrue more than $5 million in sales to government agencies over a three-year period are required to undertake a range of activities -- such as R&D or export of goods and services, technology transfer or even alliances with startup IT SMEs -- which develop the local ICT industry.
But the program has caused fundamental problems for WA suppliers that were tendering and pricing for government contracts because they had to incorporate a MAID component in their pricing to government, and were contractually committed to that pricing without knowing the extent of the potential impact.
Read about the issues surrounding the WA MAID program, the response from the WA Minister of State Development, Tourism and Small Business, and the upcoming AIIA forum in this week's edition of ARN.