The Federal Government has launched the latest stage of its scheme to deliver all appropriate services online by 2001, in the form of a solutions exchange to link agencies with IT skills and solutions providers that can help them move their services online.
The Government Online Solutions Exchange (www.govonline.com.au) will provide a database of solution providers’ products and services. Providers can register to participate through a range of categories, including e-procurement solutions, Knowledge Management solutions, online sales solutions, Web site development and evaluation services and digital certificate and Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) services in line with the Government’s Gatekeeper strategy.
The Gatekeeper strategy involves using PKI as a key enabler for the delivery of Government Online, and is a ‘lead by example’ move by the Government to encourage the uptake of e-commerce in the private sector.
The exchange has been developed as a strategy to help government agencies and departments meet Prime Minister John Howard’s aim to provide appropriate services online by 2001.
“The solutions exchange will facilitate improved links between agencies and providers of online solutions, facilitate pilot and demonstration projects, enable best practice across agencies and promote industry development aspects of Government Online,” said Senator Ian Campbell, parliamentary secretary to the Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts, at the launch of the exchange.
Online solutions providers can register now for inclusion in the solutions exchange, and to participate in the scheme they must comply with the Commonwealth Government’s existing framework and minimum requirements, such as Endorsed Supplier Arrangements (ESA).
The Federal Government implemented the ESA in 1994 in a move to stimulate the development of the IT and Major Office Machine industries in Australia, as a mandatory standard for conducting business with Government. The arrangement provides prequalification for suppliers in these industries to sell to the government marketplace, as part of a broader scheme to streamline and simplify Commonwealth purchasing, cut the cost of doing business with Government and improve opportunities for regional Australia and small to medium enterprises.
While providers can register now to be part of the Government Online Solutions Exchange, the site itself will not open for business until February. Senator Campbell expected this opening to lead to a surge in e-business activity.