Ontario Government Changes its Approach to ICT Procurement

    TORONTO, Aug. 2 /CNW Telbec/ - As part of its ongoing agenda to modernize
public services, the Government of Ontario will soon start to use new terms
and conditions in future information and communications technology (ICT)
contracts. The changes are designed to benefit both vendors and the government
by streamlining the procurement process. This will reduce the time required to
come to a contract agreement, increase vendor participation and produce better
vendor pricing as a result of the increased competition. The new terms and
conditions will apply to future, smaller, low-risk ICT contracts.
    The new terms and conditions are the result of working closely with
industry, through the Information Technology Association of Canada (ITAC),
over the past 14 months to address a number of issues in the procurement
process. The changes fulfill recommendations made by the Special Task Force on
Large Scale I&IT Projects. In 2005 the Task Force recommended that government
and vendors work to establish new mechanisms to work more closely to improve
the procurement regime.
    "Everyone wins when procurements are more competitive," said
Ron McKerlie, Corporate CIO and Chief Strategist, Ministry of Government
Services (MGS). "Through this work with ITAC, we have taken a step forward by
addressing some terms and conditions that were putting up barriers to
competition for some vendors."
    Important changes to terms relating to audit, most favoured customer and
limitation of liability will be implemented over the next months making it
easier for more vendors to bid and lead to more competitive pricing.
    "These changes strike a fine balance between serving the interests of the
taxpayer and addressing the increasingly complex needs of government while
levelling the playing field so more vendors, including smaller companies can
participate," said Bernard Courtois, President and CEO of ITAC. "They also
demonstrate how fruitfully industry and government can collaborate for mutual
benefit. We have great respect for our associates at the Ministry of
Government Services and look forward to more results of this nature."
    The vendors and government will continue to work together to evaluate the
impact of these new terms and conditions, as well as to consider other
potential improvements to procurement arrangements. "We will evaluate the
effectiveness these changes," said Dave Hallett, Associate Deputy Minister,
MGS. "If they produce the expected positive effects for government, we will
certainly recommend them government-wide as best practices."

    ITAC is the voice of the Canadian ICT industry in all sectors including
telecommunications and Internet services, ICT consulting services, hardware,
microelectronics, software and electronic content. ITAC's network of companies
accounts for more than 70 per cent of the 589,000 jobs, $137.6 billion in
revenue, $5.2 billion in R&D investment, $22.6 billion in exports and
$11.5 billion in capital expenditures that the industry contributes annually
to the Canadian economy.

For further information:

For further information: Linda Oliver, Vice President, ITAC,
loliver@itac.ca, (613) 238-2250, x222; Lynda Leonard, Senior Vice President,
ITAC, (613) 238-2250, x223

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Information Technology Association of Canada

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