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Labor's plan for strategic sourcing of information and communication technology\n(ICT) in the public sector.

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Kate Lundy - Labor's Plan For Strategic Sourcing Of Information And Communication Technology (ICT) In The Public Sector

Monday, 05 November 2001

ALP News Statements

Labor's Plan For Strategic Sourcing Of Information And Communication Technology (ICT) In The Public Sector Kate Lundy - Shadow Minister Assisting on Information Technology

Media Statement - 2 November 2001

Labor is committed to building a program of strategic sourcing of information and communication technologies in the public sector. This policy is Labor's solution to the Coalition's failed IT Outsourcing Initiative.

Strategic sourcing means optimising resources and expertise from both within the public sector and through contracting external firms, so that the government can offer best practice, innovative technology solutions in service delivery.

A key feature of this program will be increasing the opportunities for small to medium-size enterprises (SMEs) to secure government contracts. This will facilitate innovative technology and service solutions for the federal government and stimulate growth and export opportunities for Australia's information and communication technology industry.

With government Agencies and Departments making purchasing decisions, Labor will ensure ICT industry development objectives are being met by extending the definition of 'value for money' contained in the relevant legislation to include industry development objectives.

To achieve this, Labor will aim for SMEs to secure a higher proportion of government IT contracts. Labor will also require non-SMEs wishing to tender for government work to commit to facilitating SME exports to agreed levels, and to demonstrate long term investment in Australia.

The strategic sourcing initiative will be coordinated through the National Office of the Information Economy (NOIE). Having carriage of most aspects of IT policy for the federal government, NOIE will also monitor and report on industry development outcomes to ensure a holistic approach to ICT industry development strategies.

NOIE will also advise on generic information technology matters that are relevant to strategic sourcing decisions, including privacy, security and interoperability. The provision of government services online and disability access to these web sites will also be coordinated by NOIE.

Labor is committed to providing the leadership and resources to help change the culture in the public service to one where the information technology is recognised at all levels as a crucial factor in both the efficiency of government administration and the quality of service delivery to citizens.

Put simply, Labor recognises that IT is core business.

Labor will require each department and agency to foster innovation in all aspects of ICT infrastructure and services (eg: hardware, software, online services, systems integration and telecommunications), including sourcing private sector expertise where it is in the public interest.

This commitment includes working with NOIE to ensure co-ordination of government-wide polices relating to ICT, including privacy, data and network security, e-commerce, online services and interoperability.

Agencies and Departments are to make decisions on the procurement of ICT that enhance the opportunities for and presence of small to medium enterprises (SMEs), in accordance with Labor's proposed definition of 'value for money', and work with NOIE to achieve agreed industry development goals, including:

reduce the size of individual ICT contracts where appropriate in order to ensure that SMEs have more opportunities to tender; ●

ensure that Labor's whole of Government purchasing policy on SME participation in procurement is complied with; ●

aim to increase current levels of SME participation in Government IT procurement. ●

An important emphasis will be to rebuild public sector expertise in the following areas, amongst others:

technical capability and determining the technical requirements needed for service outcomes; ● assessment of baseline costs; ● tender preparation and negotiations; ● contract management; and ●

performance monitoring. ●

Agencies and Department will draw on generic expertise from the Department of Finance and Administration (DoFA) relating to the procurement guidelines and contractual integrity.

Labor will require NOIE to coordinate the implementation of this policy, including generic issues, for example, privacy, data/network security, e-commerce, online services and interoperability.

NOIE will also work with agencies and departments to develop a purchasing culture that is less risk averse and more likely to pursue innovative solutions and implement the ICT industry development plan. NOIE will also work with DoFA to remove financial barriers to SME participation and monitor and report publicly on all aspects of this policy.

Transitional arrangements

Labor will honour existing contracts. Upon conclusion of the existing contracts, or sooner if negotiated on terms that satisfy the public interest, agencies and departments are to assume responsibility for purchasing of ICT in accordance with this policy.

Key aspects of this policy implement the recommendations of the majority (Labor) report of the recent Senate Inquiry into IT Outsourcing. This policy is also consistent with the recommendations of the Humphry Review into IT Outsourcing. This policy builds on the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) aspects of the previously released Labor policy on Government Purchasing.

Authorised by Geoff Walsh, 19 National Circuit, Barton ACT 2600.