[LINK] Lundy critical on govt purchasing model
brd at austarmetro.com.au
Wed Jan 14 09:55:25 EST 2004
Lundy critical on govt purchasing model
By Siobhan Chapman
Tuesday, January 13, 2004
When it came to ICT purchasing decisions, smart buyers were desperately
needed within government, said Kate Lundy, Shadow Minister for IT.
Senator Lundy took the opportunity to slam the federal governments
procurement policies during an address at the Open Source in Government
conference, a mini conference of linux.conf.au "Smart buyers are what we
desperately need in the public sector," she said.
At the Adelaide conference, in a wide ranging speech on IT policy and
industry development, Lundy said federal government had suffered
"subservience to the market" when it came to the procurement of ICT
services and products.
"Australia has always been behind the eight-ball [in ICT]," Lundy said.
"Government has been more interested in the spectre of cost saving than
anything else in ICT," she said.
Lundy panned the governments former outsourcing clusters, which saw
agencies group together and outsource to one provider. Lundy said in many
cases the outsourcer owned the hardware, which increased vendor lock-in.
"This meant big implications for cost to get out of that contract," she
According to Lundy, the break up of outsourcing clusters had seen NOIE
morph into a more useful organisation as agencies had gained autonomy in
their purchasing decisions.
On the use of open source, Lundy said the Opposition didnt support
specific preference of open source, "but it has to be a fair playing field,
so open source can fairly compete".
"Open source represents the greatest opportunities in IT. The manifestation
of everything you can do... The democratisation of applications and
software," said Lundy. "Open source market is not managed by proprietary
interests, rather it is managed by peers. Its a different economic model
"Nothing is going to stop the movement," she said.
Lundy noted that many governments from around the world were investigating
open source technology. "It is only ill-informed, dumber countries that
will prop up the old system, standing outside of a tidal wave of change,"
"A smart purchasing model defies being captured by what the market wants,"
Last year a rash of tenders came up for grabs as outsourcing clusters broke
Siobhan Chapman travelled to linux.conf.au in Adelaide as a guest of Sun
A laugh, if purchased at the expense of propriety, costs too much
-- Marcus Fabius Quintilian
brd at austarmetro.com.au
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