In Victoria, 31 local councils have joined forces in a call for technology firms to supply ICT shared services to all of their operations, with the possibility for a further 48 to join the list.
The councils are looking for companies which can provide the "establishment and ongoing operation of a Local Government Shared Service" to supply ICT infrastructure, business applications and enterprise content management services, as well as support for change management and service operations.
The shared services program is being jointly funded by council peak body the Municipal Association of Victoria (MAV) and Local Government Victoria via the $4.7 million Councils Reforming Business initiative from the 2007/2008 budget.
According to the MAV's website, reports by PricewaterhouseCoopers and others concluded that local government councils were having problems meeting the costs of their service commitments. The problem was exacerbated in rural and regional councils, according to the site, but extended to others as well.
MAV has sought input from Council CEOs and mayors on the issue, with the results identifying that information technology, amongst other areas such as front of house services, was one service which would see benefits by becoming shared.
The MAV has been developing business cases to support the procurement and implementation of shared services and established a program office for this phase, which will run until July 2009. A supplier's briefing will be held next Monday in Melbourne. The closing date for responses is 17 April 2009.
Also in Victoria, the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development has recently put out a tender looking for a supplier of support services for its many Microsoft products.
The support services would fall into five categories: infrastructure services for products such as Windows Vista, XP and 2000, Windows Server 2000, 2003 and 2008; messaging services for products such as Exchange 2003 and 2007, Windows Mobile and Lotus Notes Connector; portal and content services for products such as SharePoint Services 2007; database and business intelligence services for SQL 2000 and 2005; and customer relationship services for Dynamics CRM 6.3.
The transition from the current supplier is set to occur by 30 June this year.