IBM first winners in Customs outsourcing deals

IBM first winners in new Customs outsourcing deals
Written by Brett Winterford, Contributor

update The Australian Customs Service has dished out the first slice of work resulting from the lapsing of a giant AU$550 million outsourcing deal with EDS, awarding a AU$160 million mainframe processing contract to IBM.

The IBM deal covers the provision of Customs' mainframe, mid-range computing and disaster recovery services.

The applications that will fall under IBM's management include Customs' passenger processing and border control system (PACE) and the Integrated Cargo Management System, which launched in 2004 after several delays and cost blow-outs.

The five-year deal also involves a complete refresh of hardware and software.

It's the first of four selective-sourcing deals under consideration by the Federal agency -- work previously managed by EDS under an AU$550 million "whole-of-agency" outsourcing arrangement, which expires at the end of this month.

The other three sourcing contracts include a tender for application maintenance and support services, another for voice infrastructure and a final one for Internet and gateway services.

A spokesperson for EDS told ZDNet Australia that the company has maintained a small part of Customs' business -- by being included on a panel to provide ongoing application maintenance and support services.

Customs has confirmed that EDS remains an outsourcing partner. According to a statement from the government agency sent to ZDNet Australia, EDS has been selected as one of two preferred providers (subject to successful negotiations) for the applications maintenance and support services contract. KAZ is the other preferred provider for the tender.

Telstra and CyberTrust were named as the preferred providers for the voice infrastructure and Internet and secure gateway tenders respectively.

Trevor Stafford, public affairs spokesperson for Customs said that the IBM deal was the only one yet made public and that some of the contracts are still under negotiation.

Customs expects to finalise the remaining three deals this month.

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