ChannelLife Australia - Digital marketplace opens up access to government ICT spend

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Digital marketplace opens up access to government ICT spend

Local ICT suppliers will find it easier to get access to some of the Australian Government’s $5 billion annual ICT spend, following the creation of a promised Digital Marketplace.

The marketplace was among a number of promises made during yesterday’s Innovation and Science Agenda announcements, which also included plans for promoting collaboration in cyber security and plans for a data policy statement to formalise Government requirements to make openly available appropriate data.

The Government is investing $15 million in the new digital marketplace – an online director of digital and ICT services from which government agencies will procure solutions – which will be developed by the Digital Transformation Office.

The Government says the marketplace will ‘break down barriers to entry and make it easier for startups and small and medium businesses to compete for the $5 billion government spends on ICT each year’.

It admits currently startups and small to medium suppliers of digital services ‘find it difficult’ to participate in Australian Government procurements for large scale ICT solutions.

Based on a successful UK model, the Digital Marketplace ‘will result in a broader base of suppliers being considered, more competition, more innovation and more jobs’ the Government says.

Large ICT requirements will be broken down into individual components, scaling down the procurement and allowing for greater scope for innovation solutions.

Business suppliers of ICT software and hardware will be able to join the directory ‘easily’ and government buyers will be able to easily search for services, identify suitable suppliers and procure the best value option for a project.

A prototype version of the marketplace is due to be available next year.

The Government is also investing $30 million to establish an industry-led Cyber Security Growth Centre ‘to create business opportunities for Australia’s cyber security industries’.

The Growth Centre will include industry, researchers and governments, and aims to develop a national cyber security strategy and coordinate research to reduce overlap and maximise impact.

The initiative, the first to be delivered under the Government’s Cyber Security to be released in 2016, aims to help all Australian and businesses ‘be safer and more secure online’, with the Government noting attacks on Australia’s cyber network costs billions of dollars to the economy each year.

The Government has also pledged to release a Public Data Policy Statement to formalise its commitment to open data and data-driven innovation.

Government agencies will now be required to make appropriate data openly available by default through data.gov.au.

“Spatial data, in particular, is becoming increasingly important to the economy given the rapid take-up and use of mobile devices in Australia,” a statement from the Prime Minister says.

One of the most requested high-value datasets, PSMA Australia’s Geocoded National Address File and their Administrative Boundaries datasets will be released under open data terms, removing barriers that restrict the data’s use.

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