Our insights - Henry Davis York

Private sector submissions sought on ICT procurement

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25 November 2016

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:

Debra Tippett


61 401 147 148

61 2 6110 3011


Peter Mulligan


61 404 861 244

61 2 9947 6240


Rachel Bannikoff

Senior Associate

61 409 410 453

61 2 6110 3009