Assistant Minister for Cities and Digital Transformation visits UOW
Tech businesses set to benefit from Government spending boost.
Opportunities for technology businesses in the Illawarra were the main focus of a visit to UOW’s Innovation Campus by Assistant Minister for Cities and Digital Transformation, the Hon. Angus Taylor MP earlier today (Thursday 5 October).
Assistant Minister Taylor visited UOW’s business incubator, iAccelerate, where he spoke to a number of tech startups about reforms to Government IT procurement.
Commonwealth IT contracts have now been capped at a maximum value of $100 million and/or three years’ duration, to allow smaller players to bid for smaller components of larger projects.
The Federal Government is aiming to inject an additional $650 million annually (10 per cent of its annual IT spend) into Australian tech SMEs (businesses with less than 200 staff).
Assistant Minister for Cities and Digital Transformation Angus Taylor said Government’s procurement changes were a tremendous opportunity for the local tech sector.
“It is great to be here today with companies including Enviro Building Services, and Avatar Technology to hear about the opportunities for smaller IT businesses and the hurdles we’re trying to get out of their way, to give them easier access to Government IT work,” Assistant Minister Taylor said.
Avatar Technology co-founder David Lehman said his business tried to sell to government for a year.
“There are a lot of hoops to jump through as a small business. Our software is being used by the NSW government at the moment, but we are a subcontractor on that project.”
Enviro Building Services General Manager Matt Cochrane said the time, money and resources needed to join a government IT panel were too much for small businesses.
“Larger companies are able to dedicate a team to apply for government tenders, and we end up the little guy down the food chain as a subcontractor,” Mr Cochrane said.
Under the changes, Government will also reduce the number of IT panels to make it easier for small providers to supply services to government agencies and departments.
Assistant Minister Taylor said the reforms were designed to actively encourage smaller innovators to sell their ideas to Government.