Follow Vic procurement move: AIIA tells governments

The Victorian government's mooted decision to let technology contractors retain ownership of intellectual property (IP) developed during contracts and scrap uncapped liability has been welcomed by peak industry body the Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA). The decision is part of plans to alter Victoria's ICT procurement processes, according to reports today.

The Victorian government's mooted decision to let technology contractors retain ownership of intellectual property (IP) developed during contracts and scrap uncapped liability has been welcomed by peak industry body the Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA).

The decision is part of plans to alter Victoria's ICT procurement processes, according to reports today. Under the plans, uncapped liability would be replaced by a risk evaluation approach, while existing procurement contract provisions stipulating agencies retain IP developed during a contract would be replaced with provisions transferring the IP rights to contractors.

"These announcements create the potential for significant industry growth and are an important step towards ensuring Australians are good producers of ICT, not just good users," said AIIA chief executive officer Rob Durie.

Unlimited liability and insurance levels that were out of step with project risk prevented many large and small companies from bidding for government tenders, according to Durie.

"The decision on IP, risk based liability and insurance requirements should become the standard for all governments in Australia.

"I urge all state governments to follow the lead taken by Victoria and adopt these default positions. This issue should be given high priority at the next meeting of ICT Ministers at the Online and Communications Council," Durie said.

He called on the Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts, Senator Helen Coonan, to deliver on the government's "election commitment" to cap liability and allow more flexible arrangements for the commercialisation of intellectual property.

"It is more than 12 months since the Minister made her commitment and we are still waiting to see any runs on the board," he said.

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