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About the Taskforce

Innovations in digital technology are transforming the way Australians live and work, including how we buy goods and access services, how we collaborate in the workplace and how we engage socially. As strong adopters of digital technology, Australians expect the benefits of technology and innovation to be available across all areas of their lives including in their engagement with government.

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Australians are strong adopters of digital technology. 92% of Australians use the internet, 79% on a phone and 58% on a tablet. 12.2 million access the internet 3 or more times a day. Between June 2014 and June 2015, the amount of mobile data downloaded increased by 84%. Between 2011 and 2015 the number of Australian adults with a smartphone grew from 25% to 74%.

The Australian Government understands the opportunities presented by technology to dramatically improve government services. It is committed to the digital transformation of government. This is exemplified by the newly created Digital Transformation Agency, National Innovation and Science Agenda including the Digital Marketplace and the Business Research and Innovation Initiative, the Cloud Computing Policy, the Cyber Security Strategy and the Government's commitment to open data.

The ICT Procurement Taskforce is a part of this digital transformation.

The Taskforce has two objectives: to make it easier and cheaper for ICT businesses to contract with the Australian Government and to deliver better government services at a lower cost.

Procurement is the focus as it is the key gateway for the digital technology sector to provide innovative solutions to government. This gateway needs to be as open and simple as possible so that new technologies can be deployed quickly to improve government service delivery.

Despite work to improve and simplify procurement rules and processes, the Government's approach to ICT procurement can lag behind private sector best practice. Collaboration to develop ICT solutions is limited, unsolicited proposals may not be given full consideration and agency decisions focus on agency-specific solutions rather than whole-of-government solutions, increasing the risk of duplication. Into the future, the Government's ICT procurement decisions must consider whether the best quality service can be provided by: owning the solution, partnering for the solution, or providing the solution via high-quality interfaces.

One example of this is cloud services which are generally purchased on a consumption basis instead of owning the ICT assets. Despite the rapid uptake of cloud services in the private sector and a Government commitment to increasing their use, this transformational technology has seen limited uptake across government. As such, an important area of focus for the Taskforce is identifying barriers to the Government's adoption of innovative technologies.

The Taskforce has established this site to get a better understanding of the challenges industry faces in getting through the Government's procurement gateway, and to work with industry to develop improvements to the Government's ICT procurement processes and outcomes.

This consultation is focused on three key areas:

  1. Rules: this section looks at the rules and policies in place that direct how procurement occurs in government. It asks questions about how rules and policies (such as security requirements or panel arrangements) affect government procurement of technologies, especially emerging or innovative technologies.
  2. Capability: this section looks at the capability, knowledge and skills of the public sector and how this capability may affect ICT procurement. It asks questions to explore whether government has the right capabilities to get the best technologies into government.
  3. Culture: this section looks at the cultural factors in government that might impact on ICT procurement. The questions focus on industry or external experience of government culture, and explore where this could be improved.

This site also provides a snapshot of government ICT procurement.