Aussie tech industry backs Govt's procurement reforms

Aussie tech industry backs Govt's procurement reforms

Industry body welcomes moves to make it easier and less expensive for smaller players to bid for public sector contracts

The Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA), the peak body representing the information and communications technology industry in Australia, has welcomed the Federal Government's new reforms to its IT procurement approach.

The Federal Government’s Assistant Minister for Cities and Digital Transformation, Angus Taylor, revealed on 23 August that IT contracts will now be capped at $100 million or last no more than three years.

Also, as part of the reform, the Government will set a target to increase by 10 per cent the small to medium enterprise share of the Government’s annual $6.5 billion IT spend.

“We welcome the government’s commitment to build improved procurement capabilities and introduce new ICT procurement options aimed to streamline and speed up processes for both government and vendors,” AIIA chief executive, Rob Fitzpatrick, said.

“Today’s changes are an important step forward to make it easier and less expensive for smaller Australian ICT companies to bid for components of larger projects and have the opportunity to do business with the Government. These changes are in line with recommendations made by AIIA to provide a more level playing field.

“We are particularly pleased to hear the Minister’s strong commitment to cloud services across government and to reforming existing panel arrangements."

Fitzpatrick said that the AIIA had expressed concern for some time that current approaches were out of synch with new business and operating models.

Taylor announced that the Government is reducing the number of IT panels to facilitate for small players to supply services.

“All these changes open the door for government agencies to embrace innovation and new ideas and puts us a step closer to breaking down Canberra’s risk-averse culture. The government has also sent an important message about the importance of delivering on its digital transformation agenda,” Fitzpatrick said.

“To succeed, it will be important to implement the spirit of these changes effectively, and industry looks forward to working with the government to ensure an effective rollout.”

The new reforms came about as a result of recommendations from the ICT Procurement Taskforce report. The Government’s ICT Procurement Taskforce initiative, the details of which were revealed last year, is aimed at helping to overhaul the way the country spends its $9 billion-plus annual IT investment dollars.

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