Microsoft offers Australian government IT blueprint

Microsoft Corp. Australia’s managing director Paul Houghton is meeting with political leaders in Canberra on Wednesday to present the vendor’s blueprint for a renewed focus on strengthening and revitalizing the local IT sector.

Houghton is submitting a policy platform document ‘Technology Policy Blueprint: The Way Forward’ to Canberra policy makers, including the Department of Communications, Information Technology and the Arts, Department of Industry, Tourism and Resources, Attorney General’s Department and National Office of Information Economy.

A Microsoft spokesperson said Houghton’s visit includes meeting with the officers of IT Minister Senator Richard Alston, Minister for Education, Training and Youth Affairs Brendan Nelson, and the Attorney General Daryl Williams.

The opposition parties, Democrats and ALP, are also being briefed.

According to Houghton, the Government must renew its focus on Australia’s technology agenda, which is critical to the development of a highly skilled Australian population and strong national economy.

“While Australia is currently faring well in broad economic terms, the IT sector underpins global economic growth, and continued focus on the local IT industry will only further encourage this upward trajectory,” Houghton said.

Microsoft’s submission includes five key recommendations to the Australian Government: connectivity and bandwidth, helping industry build trust in the online world, protecting intellectual property to boost innovation, bridging the digital divide, education and the skills gap.