NSW Linux panel on board next month

The New South Wales government expects to finalise contract negotiations with the majority of the companies nominated for its Linux and open-source software procurement panel by the end of July, the Department of Commerce said.

The New South Wales government expects to finalise contract negotiations with the majority of the companies nominated for its Linux and open-source software procurement panel by the end of July, the Department of Commerce said.

In a statement issued to ZDNet Australia  , NSW chief information officer Paul Edgecumbe said the 11 companies nominated to the panel in early April had been given until this evening to offer comment on a draft customised version of ProcureIT, the state's new terms and conditions for information technology contracts.

The procurement panel is being established to slash the time and money government agencies would otherwise spend calling their own tenders for Linux and open-source software, and evaluating the bids.

The ProcureIT draft is designed to be flexible enough to service all panel members, with conditions varied where required to accommodate differences such as liability provisions for small to medium enterprises.

A final version of ProcureIT -- incorporating comments from panel members -- is due for release in July, Edgecumbe said. The panel is to be formally constituted once the first of those companies -- which include CSC, Dell, Fujitsu, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Novell, Sol1, Starcom, Sun Microsystems and System Integration Services -- signs all documents relating to that version.

The CIO said while all 11 were expected to agree to the final version of ProcureIT, "there may be some time variances" as to when individual companies sign up.

"Each company will be admitted to the panel upon signing the agreement in accordance with the standard practice for NSW government information technology panels," Edgecumbe said.

The NSW Minister for Commerce, John Della Bosca, announced the preliminary panelists several weeks ago after a six month tender evaluation process, saying the positions were subject to "final negotiations".

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