The Department of Defence has selected suppliers for a panel to provide federal government agencies with their urgent computing equipment needs until whole-of-government contracts are put into place.
The Department of Defence, which has headed up the procurement process for the panel, said that it had been working with the Australian Government Information Management Office to finalise details. Suppliers had been notified, but the process was not yet finished.
"Although the evaluation process has been completed and successful suppliers have been notified, due to the Christmas reduced activity period, Defence has not yet finalised the deeds. It is envisaged that the deeds will all be in place and the panel formally established by the end of the third week in January 2010," a spokesperson for the department told ZDNet.com.au.
Vendors on the panel will provide desktops, notebooks, monitors and thin client equipment. Defence alone has approaching 100,000 desktop users, some with multiple machines.
The department had pressing needs for new equipment, which had made it unable to wait for the formation of a whole-of-government computing equipment contract, suggested under the Gershon Review. The idea was to reduce government procurement costs using the government's buying power.
Although the Gershon Review was handed in at the end of 2008, the whole-of-government desktop arrangements are not expected to be in place until the end of the 2009/2010 financial year.
The long lead time had meant that agencies other than Defence also required a stopgap measure for urgent equipment needs. They will now be able to use the new Defence panel.
The government also hopes to form a whole-of-government telecommunications procurement panel. This is scheduled to go live during the 2010/2011 year. No interim arrangement was considered necessary. A whole-of-government Microsoft volume sourcing agreement was already signed by Defence early last year.