Keywords: technology acquisition, information technology, partnering, public sector, project management
Investigating the partnering strategy for information technology acquisition in public organisations
Over the last few years, external acquisitions of information systems have represented an ever-growing expense for most governments. Ironically, these massive investments in information technologies are occurring in a period when many studies have invoked the urgent need to reform the acquisition process. Central to this reform is the partnering strategy, where both private and public partners engage in a more cooperative and flexible agreement than the traditional, specifications-based contract. Based on the major projects observed, this acquisition strategy still remains difficult to implement. This exploratory study has identified three major obstacles: the inability properly to define a common goal, the lack of balance and equal commitment of resources between the partners, and finally, the lack of a common vision of what a private-public partnering process ought to be for this kind of project. These results call for a vigorous, long-term commitment by both administrative and political leaders in order to make partnering a beneficial strategy for major public-private projects.