A number of items on the agenda of the Thirteenth Ministerial Meeting of the Online and Communications Council (the Online Council) are of potential interest to The Medium readers. This is the second selected topic Building Australia's Information and Communications Technology Capability.
Progress has been made in a number of areas aimed at improving Australia's underlying information and communications technology (ICT) capability. The Online Council agreed to continue efforts to build this key enabler for the Australian economy. ICT capability issues considered by the Online Council included:
The work of the ICT Skills Foresighting Working Group and the release of its report Building Australian ICT Skills in June 2006 were noted together with a report by the Director General of the Department of Public Works Queensland, Mr Mal Grierson, on the National IT Skills Summit. Both activities were seen to provide a useful framework for all key stakeholders (government, industry and the education sector) to address the issues facing the ICT skills market in Australia. Victoria will chair a national group to work collaboratively with other states and territories, the Australian Government, industry and educational institutions on an ICT careers awareness campaign.
While recent ABS survey data indicates there are approximately 30 000 ICT employees across the three tiers of government in Australia it was recognised that the current and emerging ICT skilling issue could impact the speed at which “connected government” can be achieved.
Government ICT Procurement
The efforts to further align contracting arrangements and incorporating the strengths of the various contracting methodologies were noted and encouraged. While current Australian Government policy provides some flexibility around supplier IP ownership the new SourceIT Model Contracts (former GITC) will provide greater prominence to the option of the supplier retaining ownership.