AUSTRALIAN SENATE INQUIRY INTO AUSTRALIA-USA FREE TRADE AGREEMENT


08:22 Wed 09 Jun 2004					REF:ZXAAEC33
							Y/R: Senate Inquiry

TO:	Senator Peter COOK		FROM:	Stephen GOULD
	Chair 					Chair Management Committee
	Australian Senate Inquiry		XZIG
	AUSTRALIA - UNITED STATES		OIC
	FREE TRADE AGREEMENT		cc	Senator Kate LUNDY

Dear Senator COOK

REASONS FOR AUS GOV E-COMMERCE GOVERNANCE COMMITTEE
This document is sent with the web-links to provide the evidence to support this addendum to the Public Hearing Submission on Tue 08 Jun 2004. The addendum is to provide the reasons for a proposed Australian e-Commerce Governance Committee to ensure that Australia's Trading Partners conform with the appropriate Standards to facilitate trade for Australian organisations. This document is sent to Senator LUNDY Shadow Minister of Information Technology as she: 1 addressed the OIC Seminar about Aus-USA-FTA on 20 May 2004 2 will be able to appreciate the technical and financial issues involved with conflicts in E-Commerce standards. 3 may be prepared to chair the proposed Government E-commerce Governance Committee PURPOSE Further to our submission Tue 08 Jun 2004 to the Senate Inquiry on Chapter 16: Electronic Commerce, of the Aus-USA Free Trade Agreement [AUS-USA-FTA] this addendum has been included following your questions re an appropriate option for consideration. I outline the reasons for establishing a Governance committee to oversee the e-Commerce aspects of the [AUS-USA-FTA]. Your previous relevant Ministerial experiences (as the Minister for Shipping and Aviation Support [92-93] and Minister Industry Science and Technology [94-96]) has enabled you to appreciate how, similar to the issues involved with adding time and trade costs with different Railway Gauges, different e-Commerce Standards will add considerable cost, time and frustration for businesses wishing to benefit from Trading Treaties concluded by the Australian Government. This addendum on the proposed e-Commerce Governance Committee is indexed as follows: A Concern over Aus-USA FTA E-commerce Standards a US Electronic Industry Alliance [EIA] b Trade Documentation Processes b Australian EDI Standards Committee B Background to ANSI X-12 and EDIFACT C Australian and US State E-tender processes D Proposed members, objectives of E-commerce Governance Committee E Next Steps A CONCERNS OVER AUS-USA E-COMMERCE STANDARDS This issue of the potential conflict between the ISO EDIFACT Standard and ANSI X-12 Standard for Electronic Commerce only became apparent when reviewing the Speech by Ambassador ZOELLICK on 25 May 2004 to the Electronic Industry Alliance [EIA]. This speech was 1 week after the Aus-USA-FTA had been signed by Trade Minister VAILE on 18 May 2004. The Speech was given at the "2004 Government - Industry Dinner" and it refers to the President of EIA David MCCURDY who is the current President of the Electronic Industry Association and was in Congress as a Senator when Ambassador ZOELLICK used to work for him "I very much appreciate his leadership then and his leadership now" The issue of concern is that the EIA web site states that it is accredited to the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). In 1985 ANSI issued an E-commerce Standard called ANSI-X12 which was implemented by many large American Corporations and Government organisations. a ELECTRONIC INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION "Accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), EIA provides a forum for industry to develop standards and publications throughout the electronics & high-tech industries Promote the market development and competitiveness of the U.S. high-tech industry through domestic and international policy efforts." These are the members and links to the Electronic Industry Association Members many of whose members will have implemented the ANSI-X12 Standard MEMBERS OF EIA - 6 Major Associations 1 Consumer Electronics Association - CEA "With more than 75% of CEA's current membership constituting companies with sales under $30 million, CEA realizes the value of small business in consumer technology. Recently, members joined together for the Small Business Strategy Conference to examine the newest trends in strategic planning, marketing and more" 2 Electronic Components, Assemblies & Materials Association - ECA "Record Year in 2004 Expected Semiconductor Industry Association now expects record semiconductor sales this year, boosted by higher than expected growth. Electronic News" 3 Government Electronics & Information Technology Association - GEIA "The GEIA promotes the interests of the U. S. electronics, communications and information technology industries, with regard to government markets, requirements, and technical standards, at the federal, state and local levels" 4 Joint Electron Device Engineering Council - JEDEC "The JEDEC Solid State Technology Association (Once known as the Joint Electron Device Engineering Council), is the semiconductor engineering standardization body of the Electronic Industries Alliance (EIA), a trade association that represents all areas of the electronics industry" 5 National Science & Technology Education Partnership "NSTEP is dedicated to developing tomorrow's technology leaders through a variety of programs and services for students, the educational community and corporations interested in advancing science and technology education" 6 Telecommunications Industry Association - TIA "Whether at home or abroad, a competitive environment is necessary for the communications revolution to be a true agent of change. TIA has worked closely with members of Congress, the Administration and regulatory bodies to enact legislation and regulations that are pro-competitive and that serve to accelerate the development and deployment of advanced communications and information technologies and services both in the United States and throughout the world" b TRADE DOCUMENTATION PROCESSES In December 1987 following the EDI Forum in Melbourne, an EDI Consultant Colin SHAW and myself were invited by the Association of Australian Port and Marine Authorities [AAPMA] to review the trade information flow documentation in the United Nations Port Information Management System [PORTMIS] This documentation identifies import and export documentation which is obviously a key part of AUS-USA-FTA There 12 different industry groups involved with the Export documentation flows: 1 The Exporter 2 The Insurance Company 3 The Chamber of Commerce 4 The Shipper 5 Forwarding Agent 6 The Haulier 7 The Shipping Company 8 Customs 9 The Port Authority 10 The Wharfinger 11 The Stevedore 12 The Ship There are 16 different cargo export documents. The main document being the Manifest In January 1988 we were invited to provide a quotation by the Australian Association of Port and Marine Authorities [AAPMA] to meet the requirements of the UNESCAP Manual for Ports 16 years later, in Nov 2003 the Australian Federal Treasury announced a Public Consultation for a Best Practice Model [BPM] for E-commerce " There were http://www.oic.org/cpt/AT/ADT/">18 submissions in total. 5 of those submissions were from OIC members. One of the submissions from EDI Consultant Ben ANSON of Sydney Port Corporation outlines the problems encountered by Australian Ports with E-commerce manifests As Ben ANSON has confirmed the problems still encountered by Australian Ports after 15 years of Customs using E-commerce, there are very real concerns with the Chapter 15: Government Procurement when all 9 Australian Governments [State and Federal] all use different e-Tender systems and more important different software coding systems for each field. How is this going to improve Trade with Government Procurement with the US when each State in the US may also uses a different Tender format ? And Tenders are only the first step in the Government e-Procurement process ! This will become a very major problem when the various State Governments move to the next steps of the e-Business process as the Western Australian Government Department of Housing has done with issuing this tender for "Tender/Contract Management" c AUSTRALIAN EDI STANDARDS COMMITTEE IS/11 The concerns were amplified by the fact that EIA is an "accredited by the American National Standards Institute". This re-awakened experiences when I represented the Australian Small Business Association [ASBA] on the Standards Australia Committee "IS/11 - Electronic Data Interchange" from 1988-1989. IS/11 was Chaired by Michael Baker of the EDI Council of Australia [EDICA]. It comprised 42 members the majority from Australian Associations. Key members included the Australian Bankers Association, the EDI Council of Australia, Australian Customs, the Australian Association of Port & Marine Authorities [AAPMA], Australian Information Industry Association [AIIA] and Overseas Telecommunications Commission (Australia) OTC In Sep 1988 the members of the Australian Bankers Association proposed that Australia adopts ANSI-X12 as an interim standard for 2 years I pointed out that EDIFACT had been released as "ISO Standard 9735" in Sep 1987 and Australia had agreed to comply by ISO Standards. In Dec 1988 IS/11 confirmed that ANSI-X12 is published as an interim standard for 2 years. This was against the declared Federal Government policy of complying with ISO Standards. A copy of that directive from Standards Australia was provided in the Submission on Tue 08 Jun 2004. At least it was a reason for employing more people to re-write software 2 years down the track and keep the GDP figures moving ! However it becomes an expensive and frustrating exercise for a Small or Medium size Enterprise [SME] trying to use E-commerce. In Oct 1989 at EDI'89 in Los Angeles USA Michael BAKER was the Chairman of the Conference and there were presentation by 5 members of the Australian EDI Standards Committee including 3 by the Australian Bankers Association. In 1989 EDICA in conjunction with the AAPMA ($ 250,000), Australian Customs ($250,000) and Qantas ($250,000) formed Tradegate ECA. Six (6) Australian Small Business Associations involved with the Ports were offered "Stakeholder" options within Tradegate ECA for a contribution $ 50,000 each. I believe these Associations included: 1 Australian Customs Agents Association 2 Australian Freight Forwarders Association 3 Australian Road Hauliers Association 4 Australian Customs Broker Association In 1999 Sun Microsystems Australia joined the OIC to sponsor the proposed XML & E-commerce Special Interest Group [XZIG] In 2000 Tradegate ECA hosted a meeting with UN/EDIFACT and OASIS (US unincorporated Association - Organisation for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards) to establish ebXML Australia. eXtensible Markup Language [XML] was being promoted as the next step for E-commerce. The OIC attended all the ebXML Australia meetings from Jun 2001 - Dec 2003. In Jul 2002 the OIC Tender Information Management Service [TIMS] was submitted as an Australian XML Standard for Government tenders. In Dec 2003 Tradegate ECA withdrew from hosting the ebXML Australia meetings and ebXML Australia has not held another meeting. C AUSTRALIAN AND US STATE E-TENDER PROCESSES Currently there are the following main Australian Government Tender sites FEDERAL Federal STATE Australian Capital Territory New South Wales Victoria Queensland South Australia West Australia Tasmania Northern Territory Each tender site has a different way to download tender attachments relating to the tenders and a different way to lodge tender documentation LOCAL GOVERNMENT Many Local Government webs site can host their tenders. In addition they are published in the electronic version on the Age, Australian and Sydney Morning Herald If you now add the 27 US States which now provide tenders as well as the US Federal Web site, it is very difficult to see how the FTA will facilitate trade if Australian Business have to learn different systems to respond to tenders. While variety with different systems will stimulate interest, the key issue about e-Commerce is that the "behind the scenes" computer field codes must be the same for e-Commerce to operate. Currently we believe each Australian Government Tender site codes the fields differently although they should all be using EDIFACT and each US Government Tender site will probable be different field codes although they may be using ANSI-X12 or EDIFACT These details on how all Government Procurement tenders are structured needs to clarified for both the Australian Government sites and the proposed 27 US Government Sites. Please find attached the spreadsheet list of 27 US State Sites listed in Annexure 15-A to Chapter 15: Government Procurement - scroll down page to "Annex 15-A". These 27 US Government State Sites along with 8 Australian State sites (Cumulative GDP US$ 409 Billion) are also as a web-page D PROPOSED E-COMMERCE GOVERNANCE COMMITTEE a Draft Objectives It is proposed that the Senate Inquiry recommends that the Australian Government establishes an Government E-commerce Technical Committee to: 1 Ensure that Australia complies with its Treaty to implement ISO Standards unless there is not an appropriate Standard 2 Ensure that all Australian Government tender sites use the appropriate e-Commerce Standard to facilitate Trade 3 Ensure that All International trading Partners that wish to provide electronic Tenders use the appropriate ISO Standard to facilitate Trade for Australian businesses b Possible Members It is proposed that there are 6 members and 1 Chairperson Chair: It requires either Senator Peter COOK or Senator Kate LUNDY to ensure there is the appropriate authority to inspect Trading Partners e-Commerce Structures. Possible Members Daniel PETRE - Federal Government Treasury Group of Experts on E-commerce Stephen GOULD - recognised by IBM UK as leading World expert on e-Commerce issues At least 4 other members should be very conversant with computer coding systems and defining business rules There are a number of Consultants that have been involved with OIC projects in the past and may be prepared to contribute to this project using the OIC E-Credits system and long-term Intellectual property Royalties [IPRs]. These people include: Guy BLOMBERG Database Ken BROMFIELD Web Techniques John BROWN Japanese Jordon GOA Chinese Herman INOZ Russian Mervat KAFRAWI Arabic Francoise LEFRANCE French Geoff MAY Communication Lee MURRAY Coding Structures Menano PIRES Portuguese/Spanish Kelvin PLATT Association Structures Chris PUTTOCK German Colin SHAW EDIFACT Lars SORHUS Web Techniques However this will depend on their current commitments c Proposed method of operation To utilise the OIC Electronic Committee/Work Group Management System Eg The XML & E-commerce Special Interest Group format http://www.oic.org/3a4a1.htm NEXT STEPS Senator COOK if required I would be prepared to come to Canberra to discuss in more depth the proposed Government e-Commerce Governance Committee and its significance to facilitate Trade with the Aus-USA-FTA and other similar Treaties in more depth. Yours sincerely Stephen GOULD Chair Management Committee OIC XML & E-commerce Special Interest Group OPEN INTERCHANGE CONSORTIUM E: sggould@oic.org M: 0416-009-468 T: {61}(2) 9953-7412 W: http://www.oic.org/3a4a.htm

























Revised: S: 07:03 Sat 29/12/2001 Syd 2089
F: 07:32 Sat 29/12/2001 Syd 2089
Who: sgg
Authorised: sgg
Created: 09:45 Tue 13/06/2000 Syd 2065
By: kmb
Revision: 3a4h1.002
Original Page: 3a4h
Change date:
Who:
Authorised: