The NSW Government will attempt to make it reduce the red tape and costs associated with selling IT goods and services to government by amending an agreement known as Procure IT.
Procure IT contains specific policies relating to the procurement of IT goods and services within a government environment.
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The Australian Information Industry Association has lobbied for amendments to Procure IT for many years, arguing it carries commercially unacceptable risks for suppliers of information and communications technology.
The AIIA says government departments and agencies use external law firms to “tighten up” procurement terms and conditions. The added red tape makes the contractual environment worse for suppliers, and involves significantly more cost for all those involved.
The AIIA deemed the practice as being risky and costly compared with other states, but the amended Procure IT is expected to deliver government annual savings worth tens of millions of dollars.
NSW Premier Kristina Keneally says the government was finalising the amendments, with Procure IT to be launched on February 22, 2010.
Under the terms of the agreement, all intellectual property created while working for a government department will belong to the supplier, making it easier for small businesses to participate in the government market.
Keneally urged AIIA members to get behind the framework.
“This will happen once you’ve had the opportunity to take in the changes that we’ve created together.”
According to an AIIA spokesperson, Procure IT is a milestone for industry and government, and will lead to increased industry participation.
“NSW has made a conscious decision to balance the acceptance of a little more risk in the expectation of higher levels of business engagement and increased competition,” she says.
NSW accounts for 40% of Australia’s IT industry, which produces more than $40 billion of goods and services each year and generates exports of around $2 billion.
An Access Economics study commissioned by the NSW government earlier this year highlighted the adoption of new information technologies as one of four megatrends that will impact on the future shape of the economy.
Keneally said this had influenced the state government’s business sector growth plans, released in September.
“Those plans focused on innovation, productivity, intensity and carbon efficiency. Above all, we determined that NSW will lead the nation as the most technologically advanced and sophisticated state economy,” she said.