On Wednesday, the Australian government has announced it will be capping the term and value of government IT contracts. The rationale behind this is to give small and medium sized businesses the opportunity to bid for small components of large IT projects. Quite obviously SMEs don't have the resources or capabilities to perform contracts worth over $100 million. Hence, by enforcing a cap and restricting the size of projects the government is helping SMEs grow, rather than awarding large IT corporations more lucrative contracts.
Angus Taylor, Assistant Minister for Cities and Digital Transformation said the government is targeting an increase of 10 per cent of its annual $6.5 billion IT spend to smaller operators. "These are exciting changes that will throw open the door for SMEs and allow government agencies to bring in new and innovative services," Mr Taylor said.
As a local IT startup, WorkingMouse is excited by the recent announcement. It follows on from the Advance Queensland initiative. The government's living up to its promise to empower entrepreneurs and encourage innovation.
After establishing the ICT procurement taskforce in October 2016 the government shifted its focus to forming a comprehensive picture of its ICT and digital technology investments. The taskforce then produced a report which listed several recommendations, including;
- encourage competition
- be innovative " iterate often " fail fast
- be structured in a way that enables SMEs to compete fairly to directly provide components of significant ICT projects
- be outcomes focused
- use open standards and 'cloud first' approaches
- minimise cyber security risks
- not duplicate the building of platforms that have been built by other agencies.