Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Public Private Partnerships for Defence Computing

Greetings from the Australian Computer Society Canberra Branch meeting, where the Australian Department of Defence  "Applications Managed Services Partnership Arrangement" (AMSPA) is being discussed. In public service contracting terms this is a "panel" of contractors to build defence computer applications, but has risk sharing between the department and companies.

The panel is divided into domains, such as HR, Finance or war-fighting and intelligence, so that contractors can specialise in an area. So rather than the department having to write a detailed requirements document for each item of work and then put it out to tender, they can approach the panel member for that domain.

In the first year of operation the panel has had 130 requests made with 80 orders totalling $245M. The result has been an increase in the number of days work done from 29,000 to 153,000. The result is the department can get more work done, because the limiting factor has been not funds available, but the bottleneck of the acquisition process.

The panel is designed to foster a cooperative approach between the department and industry, rather than competition. Sourcing requests are written to say what is required, not how to do it. Also the department gives the panellist details of what is planned in the future, so companies can schedule resources.

There is limited information available publicly about the AMSPA. One I found of use was "ICT Procurement Opportunities", Chief Information Officer Group.

This panel may be of use to other Australian Government agencies. Under government policy this panel is available for use by any part of the federal government, but is not just a matter of placing an order, as you would to buy a piece of equipment. The approach may also be of interest to the US DoD. This would also be a project worthy of close academic research.

No comments: