Govt gets local

IN an attempt to buy local the WA government has initiated a series of forums with industry suppliers.

The first held in Perth last week saw 130 industry representatives turn out for the summit.

The Minister for Works and Services Mr Tome Stephens plans similar forums in key regional centres including Bunbury and Geraldton.

Under the acronym SPIRIT the Minister says he wants to establish a framework that will streamline the purchasing process of techn-ology equipment and services for the Government as well as establish a level playing field in which regional and small business can share equitably.

“With the growing emphasis on electronic service delivery across the Government sector, smart purchasing of ICT goods and services will be more important than ever before,” said Mr Stephens.

“Hence it is vital that we obtain the views of the ICT industry before proceeding with the development of the SPIRIT framework.”

Spirit is a joint project of the Department of Contract and Man-agement Services, and the Office of Information and Communi-cations within the Department of Commerce and Trade.

Mr Stephens said that SPIRIT would support the Government’s plan to implement savings by optimising ICT, integrating service delivery and reducing duplication.

“A core objective of SPIRIT will be to achieve greater value for money in Government agency ICT spending by leveraging of whole of government economies of scale,” said Mr Stephens.

“It will also provide a framework that will enable rapid and cost effective ICT procure-ment while ensuring probity and adherence to Government policies such as buy local.”

Recently an agreement signed between the WA Government and Microsoft is expected to save $6.8 million over the next four years.

The new Microsoft Head Agreement for licences is estimated to be worth around $8 million a year to Microsoft over the next four years.

Large Government agencies with at least 250 desktops will have access to the Microsoft Enterprise agreement, while the smaller agencies will be able to buy ad hoc under the Microsoft Open Licence Program for Government.

“By using whole of Government buying power within the efficient procurement framework significant cost savings can be achieved,” said the Minister.

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