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Government

Centrelink revamps ICT services panels

Welfare agency Centrelink has flagged plans to overhaul the way it procures a raft of ICT services, consolidating two separate panel contracts into one overarching deal with between 10 and 15 vendors.
Written by Renai LeMay, Contributor on

Welfare agency Centrelink has flagged plans to overhaul the way it procures a raft of ICT services, consolidating two separate panel contracts into one overarching deal with between 10 and 15 vendors.

The agency — one of Australia's largest single consumers of ICT products and services — has previously used three separate panel contracts to supply its needs, although it also holds much larger ongoing contracts with single parties, for example IBM.

In tender documents released this week, Centrelink said it would consolidate two of those panels into one, to cover services relating to the diverse areas of applications development and support, business intelligence, database, mainframe, mid-range, desktop and mobile devices, network and communications as well as security.

"Centrelink anticipates appointing approximately 10 to 15 members to the panel," the agency said in tender documents. The new deal will not cover the supply of hardware or proprietary software.

The agency did not comment by the time of publication on who its current suppliers were, but past analysis by ZDNet.com.au has shown many of Australia's largest technology companies hold contracts with Centrelink; IBM, CSC, Fujitsu's Kaz, Dimension Data, Sun Microsystems and Acer, among others.

In the tender documents, Centrelink said it currently ran multiple IBM mainframes running the z/OS operating system, a number of mid-range servers running Solaris, Windows Server Linux and Novell Netware, a storage area network, virtualised systems via VMware and Lotus Domino mail servers running on Windows Server.

The agency runs a Cisco wide area network connecting its offices, supplies its staff with Windows-based PCs, laptops and mobile devices (although it also utilises BlackBerrys), and a number of Teradata systems. It is known to run Acer on the desktop, and makes much use of Cognos' software in its databases, along with SAP for HR and financial systems. Centrelink has around 2000 ICT staff.

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