At its annual general meeting in Auckland last night, the NZICT group elected its 2013-2014 board. The organisation also voted in favour of a name change, and is now set to rebrand from 'NZICT' to 'New Zealand Technology Industry Association'.
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New NZICT Group CEO Candace Kinser sees the organisation reaching out more into the ICT industry in the provinces, but the needs of multinational companies will remain a priority .
New Zealand exports to China in the last two years have grown faster than to any other nation over the same period in this country’s trading history. Since the signing of the Free Trade Ageement between the two countries in 2008, exports to China have grown 143 percent and between October 2008 and August 2011 were worth $5.6 billion.
NZICT has appointed Candace Kinser, former CEO of global biotech software firm Biomatters, as its new CEO.
The New Zealand Information Communication Technology Group (NZICT) has appointed three new board members following its AGM last week.
Industry organisation the NZICT group had difficulty establishing a quorum at its annual general meeting yesterday.
NZICT chief executive Brett O’Riley, who announced his resignation last week, has been appointed deputy chief executive for business innovation and investment in the newly established Ministry of Science and Innovation (MSI)
Brett O’Riley, the inaugural chief executive of NZICT announced his resignation in a letter to the organisation’s membership yesterday.
Brett O’Riley is head of NZICT, an industry association made up of more than 100 local technology companies. Here are his top ten predictions for the local ICT industry in 2011.
1. Fibre-based broadband arrives
Industry group NZICT is calling for the establishment of a "procurement ombudsman" to resolve complaints about the handling of government tenders.
Chief executive Brett O'Riley said technology firms had for a long time felt unable to pursue complaints for fear of harming their relationships with public sector clients.
"Issues that the industry have talked about are when a request for information or a request for proposals has been released and there's been no decision, so companies have incurred costs on the basis that something would proceed. But also where the scope [of a tender] has changed in the middle of a process, and situations where there's been breaches in confidentiality."
A procurement reform group – which NZICT was a part of – had revised and republished the procurement complaints process.
"That's a good start because I'm not sure many in the industry were aware that there is a formal complaints process. That's a good step one, but step two is how do you progress an issue?"
NZICT would suggest to the Economic Development Ministry that an ombudsman be set up.
The ombudsman job could be a dedicated position or picked up by someone in a similar role, and would apply to all procurement, not just ICT, he said.
"Every time there is an issue that takes a while to resolve, that's additional cost to both parties and we want to minimise the number of cases that involve legal costs."
Don Christie, spokesman for breakaway lobby group NZ Rise – set up to represent the interests of New Zealand-owned technology firms, said there should be a procurement ombudsman to actively monitor the amount of work and public money that went to New Zealand-based companies.
That would help identify whether procurement processes were cutting out local vendors.
"It needs to be more pro-active. At the moment we can complain to the Office of the Ombudsmen if we feel there is a problem with process and fairness."
The ombudsman could also assess complaints from companies that felt they had been discriminated against.
NZ Rise believed the Government's moves to set up public sector-wide purchasing "mega-contracts" for items such as computers and photocopiers, and to deliver shared services to department such as datacentre services discriminated against smaller, local firms.
"That prevents those companies from providing specialist knowledge and specialist services. It's good for the one or two people procuring, but it's not good for driving value into government."
Clare Curran, Labour's communications spokeswoman, has tabled a private members bill that if passed would establish a commission of inquiry to determine whether the Government could and should have a policy that gave preference to local procurement without breaching international obligations.
Ms Curran has said local companies are missing out on large contracts – particularly software licensing contracts.
NZICT is playing a pivotal role in driving procurement reform based on industry feedback, says the organisation’s chairperson Brett O’Riley.
The first New Zealand ICT trade mission to China, which will be led by ICT Minister Steven Joyce, takes place next week.
Simpl Group chief executive Bennett Medary has been elected chair of industry lobby group NZICT, taking over from Cisco Systems chief executive Geoff Lawrie, who did not seek reelection.
NZICT has signed an agreement with the Spatial Industries Business Association (SIBA), under which the two organisations will work together.
Kiwi technology firms will have their own chance to star and win on a global stage during next year's Rugby World Cup.