NSW Govt refreshes ICT procurement strategy

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NSW Govt refreshes ICT procurement strategy

Changes to IP, liability and risk terms.

The NSW Government plans to reveal a "revamped" version of its IT procurement framework next month that, among other things, beefs up intellectual property ownership provisions for suppliers.

Version three of Procure IT promises to contain "standard terms and conditions used by government to buy technology and communications-related products and services," according to a statement released by the NSW Government.

It was planned for introduction in the state on 1st June, 2011.

Changes to the conditions would reduce the cost of legal negotiations on every ICT contract, the Government promised.

Other changes applied to intellectual property and the carriage of liability and risk.

The NSW Government has opted to follow the example set by its Canberra peers and offer the industry the opportunity to retain and re-sell intellectual property developed during some government projects.

"Intellectual property will now belong by default to the supplier rather than the NSW Government," State Contracts Control Board chairperson Kerry Schott said in the statement.

"Government will still have a licence to use the intellectual property, and transfer it between agencies.

"Government agencies can still own the intellectual property when public interest dictates; however the change will encourage increased industry investment and development of intellectual property."

The Government hoped such a strategy would encourage more software innovation in the state.

A NSW Department of Services, Technology and Administration spokesman told iTnews that consideration was "currently being given to guidelines to assist agencies to decide that they should keep the intellectual property."

Schott said the NSW Government would introduce a "standard limitation of liability" which would now apply to "most contracts, providing greater certainty for suppliers around risk, while ensuring government exposure is protected.

"In general, liability will be limited to the greater of $100,000 or two times the contract value," the department spokesman told iTnews.

"Special rules apply to certain contracts such as ongoing services contracts - for example, maintenance contracts. Claims for personal injury, property damage, breach of intellectual property and breach of privacy are excluded form the cap, where liability is unlimited."

The Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA) welcomed the changes, which are due to be published for public view by March 1.

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