Labor ACT senator, Kate Lundy, has announced the Government’s plan to appoint an IT advocate to assist SMB suppliers targeting government and enterprise contracts.
Lundy made the announcement during a keynote speech at CeBIT 2010 in Hanover this week. She said the position would be part of Innovation Minister, Senator Kim Carr’s, Supplier Advocates initiatives, which has a total budget of $8.2 million over four years.
“This initiative recognises the importance of Government being able to access the often nimble, innovative capacity of small business,” Lundy said.
Although small business had been competing for government contracts on a level playing field with big business, Lundy admitted agency CIOs were sometimes hesitant to use their expertise.
“With multinational enterprises and government CIOs often hesitant to undertake business with small to medium-sized businesses due to perceptions of risk, the IT Supplier Advocate will work with parties to mitigate these often unfounded perceptions of risk associated with contracting a small business,” she said.
“[The advocate] will ensure the scales don’t tip against small businesses competing for government contracts in unfair or unreasonable ways.”
The announcement comes amid a series of consolidations and whole-of-government arrangements made as part of the Federal Government’s implementation of the Gershon review. State governments are also moving to consolidate datacentres and various software licences with panels and whole-of-government arrangements.