[LINK] Report of the Gov ICT Procurement Taskforce

Stephen Loosley StephenLoosley at outlook.com
Mon Aug 28 18:29:54 AEST 2017

Report of the ICT Procurement Taskforce

(Posted about an hour ago)

Executive summary

The Australian Government’s annual spend on Information and Communications Technology (ICT) goods and services is significant and is comparable to its spend on a large social welfare program, such as the Newstart Allowance.
In 2015–16, Australian Government agencies reported that they spent $6.2 billion on ICT goods and services. In that same year, agencies estimated that they would procure $9.0 billion of ICT goods and services into future years across 17,000 contracts. The bulk of this ICT procurement will be undertaken by just a handful of agencies …

The taskforce’s consultations revealed deep dissatisfaction of almost all parties involved in current government procurement practices and processes.

Government agencies told the taskforce that they find procurement processes outdated, cumbersome and unable to meet their needs. They are concerned that they are being left behind in adopting new and innovative technologies to deliver services.

Businesses find selling ICT goods and services to government to be costly and confusing, and occasionally cannot justify the required investment of money and time for an uncertain payoff.
The Government is also frustrated that its considerable investment in ICT is not delivering its digital transformation agenda quickly enough for the benefit of the Australian economy and society.

In recognition of this, it established this taskforce as part of its Policy for Better and More Accessible Digital Services 2016 election commitment to identify opportunities for considerable reform of current procurement arrangements.

Through its consultation and research, the taskforce has concluded that there are three significant impediments to improving government ICT procurement across government:

1.    Lack of centralised policies, coordination, reporting, oversight and accountability arising from more than 20 years of devolved agency decision-making.

2.    Limited capability and the risk adverse nature of the Australian Public Service with a focus on compliance, a fear of failure, poor collaboration and industry engagement.

3.    Practices that do not reflect contemporary procurement best practice or support innovative technology choices, with existing systems firmly rooted in the bespoke and waterfall models of the past, and not the agile, consumer technology models of the present … (snip)

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