The cost of the Government’s IT is currently too high and needs to be reduced. There is a lack of market diversity in existing government contracts. A more diverse market and level-playing field for access to government IT contracts is needed to improve competition, reduce cost and improve public service outcomes.
From a user perspective, it is difficult to transfer information and data across government boundaries and systems due to a lack of interoperability between products and services.
Citizens, businesses and delivery partners must be able to interact with the Government, exchanging information/data across in the software package of their choice and not have access costs imposed upon them by the IT choices which the Government makes.
A lack of interoperability also makes it difficult for the Government to reuse components, switch between vendors and products or to deliver efficient public services that leverage the value of government information, for instance through the provision of interfaces that allow delivery partners to build on government information services, delivering more innovative solutions.
The Government is therefore seeking to:
- give citizens and businesses a choice in the software they use when accessing government information and services;
- reduce lock-in to a particular vendor or product;
- reduce the cost of IT through a more competitive and diverse market and sustained commercial leverage; and
- improve software interoperability and sharing of data and documents across government boundaries.
The proposed open standards policy is seeking to deliver these outcomes and is outlined in the following three chapters.