FaCS Department secretary Mark Sullivan said the new partnership will lead the way in the Australian government's commitment to outsource and improve business partnerships.
"This contract will benefit FaCS by providing better value for money and improved service levels across a range of IT services," Sullivan said.
FaCS was part of the Group 1 outsourcing pool with Centrelink under the Office of Asset Sales and IT Outsourcing (OASITO), which began in 1997 and was discontinued in 2002.
"Coming out of that we took a long hard look at how we want to source our IT services and saw that this arrangement is the best way to do it," FaCS assistant secretary for business infrastructure solutions Tony Mee said.
The services will address the current needs of the department's 1800 staff, and will include helpdesk, floorwalker/desk-side support, general management of the IT infrastructure and general advice on service improvements and IT strategy.
Services will be provided by the 23 or more Getronics contractors located on-site at FaCS offices and via the company's Enterprise Service Centre in Sydney.
Getronics managing director Danny Sargeant said, "We expect to establish a strong relationship with FaCS that builds upon best practices, including areas such as the Information Technology Infrastructure Library [ITIL] frameworks we use in public and private organisations throughout Australia."
Mee said Getronics will greatly help in giving the same level of services all over the country. "We currently have to deliver services to 28 offices around Australia. Traditionally, we've struggled to deliver the services on the same level in all those locations. From our point of view, Getronics is far better placed to deliver the services needed and create a widespread national presence than we can," Mee said.
Sargeant said Getronics is also working on teaming up with other government agencies to improve IT infrastructures in similar fashion to FaCS. "Although we can't mention names at the moment, we are certainly looking at hooking up with other government departments aside from FaCS, Centrelink and the Department of Industry, Trade and Resources," Sargeant said.
Mee also believes that FaCS is just the start in the series of outsourcing arrangements in the country although he also says it is ultimately the government agencies' decision on what is best for them.
"I think FaCS is part of a wave of outsourcing arrangements that the Australian government is doing. Although we are happy with the arrangement we have with Getronics, different agencies are making different decisions on the best way to deliver their requirements. They decide what is best for them," Mee added.
A three-month transition phase will begin in early April this year. It has not yet been determined whether some employees will be made redundant because of the new arrangement.