The Australian Information Industry Association's (AIIA) Victorian chair has hit out at critics of the state's eServices panel, pointing to their dwindling numbers as indicators of the program's turnaround.
Russell Yardley told iTnews that when the Victorian Government attempted to consolidate the panel in July, he received 71 complaints from IT services firms affected by the changes within the first three days.
Yardley said he referred 43 of the complaints to the state's IT Minister Gordon Rich-Phillips at the time.
The number of complaints forced the State Government to abandon its consolidation plans for the panel, instead doubling the number of firms to 368.
Up to nine IT services firms remained aggrieved by the new panel arrangement, mostly because they had allegedly not been approved to bid for government work they deemed within their areas of specialisation.
However, the backlash this time was comparatively smaller and less severe than in July.
“More than two weeks after the emails of success and unsuccessful companies were sent [for the revised panel of 368 firms], I have three cases of strong complaint and a further six or eight complaints of companies not happy with their selection of categories,” Yardley said.
Yardley conceded there are still "problems" with the processes underpinning the eServices panel - such as the debriefing of unsuccessful candidates. But he said that a joint industry-government working party is tasked with resolving them.
“I am one of the four industry representatives on that working party and very confident that this approach will achieve the best outcome for industry and the Government," he said.
A draft report by the working party is due by March next year and a final report by the end of May 2012.
The working party comprises eight members - four from government and four from industry. The three industry representatives (aside from Yardley) are:
- David Brykman Chief Executive Officer & Managing Director IBS Global
- Paul Cooper Industry & Emerging Solutions Director SMS
- Kee Wong, Managing Principal / Director eCentric Innovations