30 November 2005
Moves to make Government ICT contracting simpler and easier
Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts, Senator Helen Coonan, and Special Minister of State, Senator Eric Abetz, today announced moves to make information and communications technology (ICT) contracting with Government simpler and easier.
The Ministers released the outcome of the review of the Government Information Technology and Communications (GITC) Framework and a draft guide on capping liability for ICT contracts which deliver on key Howard Government ICT election policies.
“ The draft guide provides practical assistance to procurement officers on how to identify and manage risk in government ICT contracts, including sample clauses for ICT contracts, ” Senator Coonan said.
“Ultimately when the guide is finalised it will result in the capping of liability in the majority of Government contracts.”
In announcing the outcomes of the review of the GITC, Minister Abetz said more standardisation across Government contracts would be a benefit for all involved.
“It makes no sense for government agencies to have completely different forms of contracts. Prices and supply will be different in each case but there is no justification for other conditions in contracts varying as much as they do.”
The GITC, established in 1991, is a set of terms and conditions that Australian Government agencies use to create contracts for ICT procurement.
“In particular, the review highlighted the scope for a series of model contracts to be developed that are tailored to the different elements of ICT procurement, such as hardware, software development and licensing (including open source software) or managed services, ” said Minister Abetz .
“These contracts will improve the way Australian Government agencies deal with changing technology and promote the take-up of innovative solutions.”
The GITC review process included extensive consultation with industry and government agencies. There will be further consultation during the development of the model contracts, which are expected to be available for use by the end of May 2006.
The contracts will be available online and the government’s website devoted to ICT procurement – www.gitc.finance.gov.au - will be substantially improved. The use of the model contracts will be evaluated after three years.
A two-page explanation of the outcomes of the GITC review is available at www.agimo.gov.au.
Senator Coonan called for industry, government agencies and other stakeholders to have their say on the draft Guide to Limiting Supplier Liability Policy in ICT Contracts for Australian Government Agencies, before the guide is finalised.
“The guide is accompanied by a companion that provides a short, practical checklist, including case studies, for procurement officers to cap liability in Government contracts,” Senator Coonan said.
“Following industry consultation, the finalised guide and policy will make it clear to both procurement officers and the industry that Australian Government agencies should cap liability in the majority of contracts for ICT goods and services.”
A Guide to Limiting Supplier Liability in ICT Contracts for Australian Government Agencies— can be accessed at www.dcita.gov.au/ict, by emailing email@example.com or by calling (02) 6271 1409.
Comments on the draft Guide are due by Wednesday 15 February 2006.