I have recently been invited to participate in industry consultations on IT procurement and Bench-marking for Shared Services Canada. The official name of the group is Industry Technology Infrastructure Round-table (ITIR), Procurement Benchmarks Advisory Committee. We have had two meetings so far, and I represent CATA (Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance). SSC is a new organization (10-12 months old) created by the Feds to bring all IT infrastructure together for the purpose of doing two things: the first being Efficiency, which we all understand to be lower costs, and the second is “effectiveness” which we all know is much more elusive to define, tackle and measure.
The purpose of this industry advisory group is to advise SSC management on procurement process and bench-marking The reason I agreed to participate is to use this SSC procurement design initiative as an opportunity to improve and fix some of the traditional problems inherent in the Feds procurement regime and to also use this opportunity to employ procurement as strategic tool for enabling innovation in small and medium enterprises.
I thought it would be great to have an open discussion on this subject (on this blog) and solicit your opinion and advice on this procurement design initiative as it relates to any of the following:
1) The concept of shared services and how different it is from outsourcing;
2) How to effect major consolidations while improving the odds for small and medium business particularly in the area of innovation;
3) How to make Small Business play more critical role in large government procurement;
4) How to achieve efficiency in public sector? What is realistic?
5) How to achieve effectiveness in public sector setting.
I have heard many opinions about the government’s ability to make significant change in this area. What do you think? I look forward to your comments.