The Department of Finance and Deregulation is looking for industry feedback on ways to improve its whole-of-government mobile panel (the panel for Telecommunications Commodities, Carriage and Associated Services), which was put on hold pending a review in July 2012. Finance is seeking advice on additional inclusions for future mobile telecommunications procurement arrangements and ways to achieve better value for money. It will be accepting comments until the end of May.
It is the second request for panel feedback made by the Department this year, indicating that it is in the process of re-evaluating the ICT coordinated procurement scheme in the face of a rapidly changing market.
The UK Government has recently adopted a ‘cloud first’ policy requiring public sector IT buyers to evaluate cloud solutions as default, before other options, and to demonstrate better value for money when selecting an alternative to the cloud. The policy is mandatory for central Government agencies and strongly recommended for all other agencies.
New Zealand has signed a whole-of-government software purchasing agreement with Microsoft that encompasses over 140 agencies and allows them to transfer surplus licences to other agencies through a shared government pool, reports ZDNet. The deal is expected to save the Government around $AU99.2 million over three years, and may lead to similar agreements with other software vendors.
The Australian Federal Government, through the Department of Finance and Deregulation, is also currently in the process of renegotiating its government-wide licensing arrangements with Microsoft.
The Victorian Department of Premier and Cabinet is looking for expressions of interest (EOIs) for the supply of a secure data transmission system for the electronic transfer of Cabinet-In-Confidence documents within the Government. EOIs must be submitted by 30 May 2013. The Federal Government is planning a redevelopment of its similar CabNet system, developed in 1998.
The Australian Taxation Office is adopting a new off-the-shelf Ektron content management system for its website from July 2013 to replace the customised IBM document manager it has been using since 1997, reports IT News. The new system will enable the agency to tailor its website to meet the needs of individual users.
The Victorian Country Fire Authority (CFA) will establish a new digital radio communications network that will enable nearly 500 brigades to communicate directly with dispatch operators over the next 18 months, as part of a $49.2 million Regional Radio Dispatch Services project. Telstra, with the support of Motorola Solutions, will build and maintain the new infrastructure for CFA in addition to maintaining the regional Victoria emergency services digital radio service.
The Department of Defence’s 2013 White Paper has prioritised the implementation of its ICT shared services agenda, as part of the Strategic Reform Program cost reduction targets initially developed in 2009. The Paper also identifies cyber security as a significant focus area in coming years.
The Australian Information Industry Association has recommended six policy reforms that it says should be adopted by political parties in the lead up to the Federal election. The recommendations are aimed at accelerating the value of Australia’s $100 billion digital economy and include:
- Driving use of national broadband infrastructure;
- Addressing the ICT skills shortage;
- Encouraging innovation by ICT small businesses and the expansion of digital capabilities across small and medium sized enterprises;
- Improving research and development capability; and
- Tracking the performance of the digital economy.
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