The Department of Finance and Deregulation has signed a new agreement with Data#3, appointing it as a whole-of-government Microsoft large account reseller (LAR).
The LAR enables agencies to order Microsoft products under the government's Microsoft Volume Sourcing Agreement.
Data#3 was already operating as the whole-of-government LAR, after being appointed by the Department of Defence in 2008, acting for the rest of the government.
Last November, the Department of Finance issued a tender to appoint a new provider or panel of providers, preparing for when Data#3's term ran out. The agreement lasts for three years, but may be extended for three additional one-year periods.
In 2010-11, the Australian Government spent over $95 million on Microsoft software licences and software assurance.
Those agencies under the Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997 (there are 105 of them) are required to use the agreement for purchasing Microsoft products. For example, the Departments of Defence, Customs, Broadband, Attorney-General, Finance and Deregulation, Health and Ageing and Immigration and Citizenship, as well as the Australian Taxation Office (ATO), the Australian Federal Police (AFP) and the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO), will have to make use of the agreement.
Use of the agreement by state agencies and the 87 bodies under the Commonwealth Authority and Companies Act 1997, such as the ABC, Australia Post, SBS, Defence Housing, Medibank Private, the Civil Aviation Safety Authority, Tourism Australia and NBN Co, is optional.