NZ Corrections dept opens its door to IT specialists

The Department of Corrections, one of New Zealand's biggest government IT users, is fishing for new contractors but remains vague on how lucrative its proposed outsourcing deal will be.Its 5000 staff manage New Zealand's 19 prisons, as well as monitors ex-convicts on parole and ranks amongst the country's top 10 central government agencies in terms of IT spend and infrastructure.

The Department of Corrections, one of New Zealand's biggest government IT users, is fishing for new contractors but remains vague on how lucrative its proposed outsourcing deal will be.

Its 5000 staff manage New Zealand's 19 prisons, as well as monitors ex-convicts on parole and ranks amongst the country's top 10 central government agencies in terms of IT spend and infrastructure.

The department earlier this month called for registrations of interest from vendors capable of providing "specialist IT consultancy, project and outsourcing services, and managed security solutions".

All vendors were told was that they needed to be skilled in intranet, Internet and security services, must be able to work with other IT professionals both within and external to the department, and must have sufficient specialist staff to mange the consultancy and support requirements of the contract.

And an e-mail from the department -- in response to bidders' questions -- yesterday shed little new detail on how extensive the contract would be.

"Corrections will review responses in terms of the capabilities of providers. It is possible that one vendor will selected to provide all services, or that multiple vendors will combine to provide the services," the e-mail said.

"Regarding staffing, the expectation is that vendors have the flexibility to provide additional staffing as required to deliver services. We can't be more specific at this stage regarding staff numbers that might be required."

The department said shortlisted vendors would be invited to respond to a more detailed "request for proposal". Vendors have until 29 January to register their interest.

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