Private sector submissions sought on ICT procurement

The Commonwealth's recently-formed ICT Procurement Taskforce has released a Consultation Paper today, Friday 25 November 2016, on the subject of the existing procurement rules as they apply to ICT expenditure, and how they could be improved.

This is an important opportunity for agencies and industry to have a say about the way that the Commonwealth conducts its $5.6 billion annual ICT spending.

The Commonwealth has a three-part strategy for the overhaul of its ICT spending processes: reform of rules, governance and technology. The Taskforce itself is charged with looking into the rules that apply to ICT procurement. The establishment of the new Digital Transformation Agency represents reform of the governance and the new Digital Marketplace is a step forward from a technology perspective.

The Taskforce, run by the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, will specifically consider how to reform ICT procurement to make it easier for smaller innovative companies to do business with government. Some of the other themes that may be addressed by the Taskforce include:

  • How to enable the private sector to participate earlier in the procurement cycle, particularly in designing solutions
  • Whether government needs to be more 'porous' to small innovators and whether the current procurement rules can support this or needs to be amended
  • Whether existing procurement processes are too cumbersome and favour larger suppliers
  • The skills required of procurement officers to enable adoption of more innovative solutions

Assistant Minister for Cities and Digital Transformation Angus Taylor MP believes as much as $560 million of the $5.6 billion spent annually by the government on contracting companies to deliver ICT services could be redirected towards encouraging innovative companies to provide solutions that could quickly and efficiently change government service delivery.

The release of the discussion paper provides an important opportunity for agencies and businesses to comment on:

  • difficulties faced by procurement teams and business when engaging in the Commonwealth government ICT procurement process
  • existing Commonwealth government ICT sourcing arrangements
  • the Commonwealth Procurement Rules as they apply to ICT procurement.

HDY regularly advises agencies on ICT procurements and contracting. We have first-hand experience of the challenges agencies face in getting innovative ICT solutions implemented quickly and successfully. We welcome the Consultation Paper and this opportunity to take a fresh look at Commonwealth government procurement in the ICT context.

The Consultation Paper is available here: http://ict-procurement.pmc.gov.au/

If you would like to discuss any issues raised by the discussion paper, please do not hesitate to contact:

Peter Mulligan

I am passionate about the success of the firm's clients and doing everything to ensure we exceed expectations.

Peter Mulligan Partner

Peter is a specialist in all areas of commercial and technology law, with a particular focus on projects involving complex contractual structures and arrangements. He is recognised by his clients and peers as an expert in tendering and procurement.

Peter's clients call upon him to advise on projects involving the acquisition, licensing or supply of large-scale hardware, information technology, telecommunications systems and other goods and services. His expertise includes outsourcing, managed services and bespoke contractual arrangements.

In the government sector, Peter is an expert in State and Federal procurement, advising government departments and agencies on procurement reform, tendering, legislative compliance, delegations of authority and agency restructures.

One of Peter's career highlights has been acting for Global Television (now NEP Australia), on its agreement to design, install and operate the international broadcast centre for the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland. This included advising on the tender by the Organising Committee, structuring of arrangements for the supply of host broadcast services for the Games, and negotiations in London of a complex suite of contracts to document the deal including with UK joint venture partner Sunset + Vine.

Peter regularly presents to clients and industry on complex contractual issues, including indemnities, the Civil Liability Act 2002 (NSW), limitations and exclusions of liability, the law of penalties, product liability and the Australian Consumer Law.

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