[LINK] Lundy: Alston Abandons Small Business
Thu, 13 Feb 2003 14:50:37 +1100
Senator Lundy has been having a go at Senator Alston in Senate Committee
Hearings specifically her press report (below) and:
Environment, Communication, Information Technology And The Arts
Consideration of Additional Estimates
Monday, 10 February 2003
I have first hand knowledge of the IBM GSA issues. What I find interesting
is the load of rubbish that both sides are putting forth. Lundy is being
mislead by her sources and Alston (and/or his department) is not able to
refute Lundy's claims.
I didn't think I could get more disillusioned about the political processes
in this country - another day another lesson in life.
Alston Abandons Small Business
Kate Lundy - Shadow Minister for Information Technology, Shadow Minister
Media Statement - 11 February 2003
The Department of Communications, Information Technology and the Arts
(DCITA) allowed numerous breaches of government IT outsourcing contracts,
leaving small business in the IT Industry out to dry, a Senate Estimates
hearing was told.
Under questioning, it became clear that it has been over four months since
the DCITA learned that Health Department IT outsourcer, IBM GSA had reneged
on three specific industry development commitments designed to assist local
ICT small businesses.
The Coalition have let these breaches go without penalty - despite these
commitments being a key condition of winning the Health Group ICT
At least one of these Australian ICT small businesses has gone into
Other IT outsourcing companies, including EDS, IPEX, CSC and Telstra have
either sought to modify or failed to achieve some of their Australian
industry development contractual obligations.
Senator Alston claimed that the outcomes could be simply modified to suit
large foreign companies such as IBM, CSC and EDS and stating that "…you may
need to [lower the bar], that's what being flexible is about."
This outrageous stance is designed to excuse multinationals in clear breach
of their contracts and is unacceptable.
SMEs in the IT industry have been forced to rely on the Industry
Development commitments as it was their only opportunity to participate in
IT outsourcing contracts under the Coalition's flawed and now defunct
I call upon the Minister to defend the plight of these companies, not
pander to the big end of town.
Unfortunately Senator Alston has once again shown the true colours of the
Coalition and has failed to protect Australian small businesses in the
local IT industry, allowing multinationals to escape outsourcing breaches
Politicians and diapers have one thing in common.
They should be changed regularly and for the same reason.
-- Gerry Brooks (in the Toronto Globe & Mail)