The federal Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts (DEWHA) is one step closer to replacing an eight-year-old IT outsourcing contract believed to be held by Commander after it today started briefing industry on its requirements.
The department's IT needs are believed to have been provided by Commander since 2000 after the firm's Volante subsidiary signed a large contract with DEWHA and several other agencies as part of the government's "Group of 8" outsourcing initiative.
However, DEWHA today issued an industry briefing paper in anticipation of an effort to replace that deal in the near future. The Group of 8 agencies have signalled they will replace the contract with separate arrangements.
DEWHA's new deal will cover support for its 3,000 desktops, 400 laptops and 400 networked printers, as well as 150 mid-range servers, 30 servers in a virtual environment, and storage area networks that host around 90 terabytes of data.
The department will also look for a supplier to handle special projects, such as the development of new applications and infrastructure refreshes.
Other contracts also set to be renewed relate to the department's network services, currently under contract to AAPT for two years until August 2009, as well as its secure gateway — a three-year deal held by Macqaurie Telecom until 2010.
However, the new contract may be affected by another much larger centralised initiative that will likely cover the largest federal agencies such as the Australian Tax Office, Centrelink and the Department of Defence, following the Gershon review of government IT spending. DEWHA warned in tender documents that its request for tender could be cancelled if the government commenced a new centralised buying strategy before mid-2009.
Regardless of the results of the Gershon review, DEWHA will retain the bulk of its application development work, and will also retain control over its IT contract management, strategic IT planning and IT security policies.
DEWHA expects to release a formal request for tender early this month and for it to close by September. The department was unable to respond to ZDNet.com.au's questions at the time of writing.