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Government information technology purchasing policy



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JOINT MEDIA STATEMENT

-L. AUSTRALIA lLl·

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 22 MARCH 1991 27/91

GOVERNMENT INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY PURCHASING POLICY

A consolidated statement of the Government's information

technology (IT) purchasing policy was released today by

the[Minister for Industry, Technology and Commerce/

Senator John Button/ and the Minister for Administrative

Services, Senator Nick B o l k u s .

The statement was foreshadowed in last week's Industry

Statement.

The Ministers said Government purchasing would continue to

be based on three main principles.

These were value for money, open and effective

competition, and support of local industry.

The last is designed to give Australian and New Zealand

companies maximum opportunity to compete for Government

business.

An expanded statement of purchasing policy covering all

Government procurement is found in the document ·

"Commonwealth Procurement Policy - Framework", October

1989, released by the Minister for Administrative

Services. . -

. . . / 2

COMMONWEALTH PARLIAMENTARY LIBRARY MICAH

Additional

purchasing

(a)

(b)

(c ) '

(d)

( e )

I

1

- 2-

requirements or processes in relation to IT

are:

Agencies are to achieve a full implementation

of the Open Systems Implementation (OSI)

standards in their networks in a timely and

cost effective manner and without disruption to

Government p rograms;

Agencies are to migrate to vendor independent

open systems based on international standards

as quickly as practicable in accordance with

standards to be endorsed by the Government;

Subject to cost effectiveness, agency

efficiency and public policy considerations,

agencies are to test the market for outsourcing

both new and existing IT service requirements,

as an alternative to the maintenance of

in-house capabilities. This is to be done with

a view to achieving maximum outsourcing,

subject to value for money and agency

efficiency considerations;

Agencies are to actively explore opportunities

for local industry participation, including

collaboration with industry where appropriate,

and the use of independent locally based

systems integrators;

Cabinet submissions concerning future IT

purchases must assess opportunities for

possible participation by local industry for

the proposals, of all short listed suppliers;

. . . /3

- 3-

( f )

eg)

(h)

(i)

( j)

(h)

Agencies are to make their Requests for Tender

(RFTs) available to industry in draft form to

allow for comment before finalisation, drafts

to be open at least one month for comment;

In RFTs and Requests for Information (RFIs),

agencies' IT requirements are to be expressed

in terms of functional specifications, as

outlined by Senator Bolkus on 14 November 1990

when he announced the publication of the Guide

to Specification W r i t i n g ;

Evaluation methodologies (including priorities

for evaluation criteria) are to be published

with RFTs and RFIs;

Agencies are to use common use contracts

arranged by the Department of Administrative

Services where they meet their n e e d s ;

Heads of agencies are to be fully accountable

for, and to control, purchasing subject to the

above principles. The Department of

Administrative Services will retain its role of

"pre-qualifying" IT suppliers to sell to the

Commonwealth, and the Department of Industry

Technology and Commerce will retain

responsibility for advising on the industrial

development obligations of suppliers;

An Acquisition Council is to be established by

an agency for IT proposals above $5 million;

the Council's role being to provide independent

and impartial advice to the head of the

proponent organisation.

. . . /4

- 4-

The policies specified above apply to purchasing

undertaken by agencies whose operations are governed by

the Audit Act 1901 and the Finance Regulations.

Where necessary, guidelines covering the operation of the

policies including exemptions where appropriate, will be

established by the Information Exchange Steering

Committee (IESC) in consultation with agencies.

CANBERRA Contact:

Senator Button's office

Mike Roberts

(06) 277 7580 (W)

Senator B o l k u s 's office

Rosie Mullaly

(06) 277 7600 (W)