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NSW govt to save AU$10m?

The NSW government hopes to save up to AU$10 million a year on desktop PC, notebook and server purchases with a new shared-service arrangement for hardware covering more than 100 agencies.The arrangement, currently under a tender managed by the NSW Department of Commerce, is one of the largest shared-service projects undertaken yet by the government, and follows new procurement reforms brought in by the government last year.
Written by Penny Jones, Contributor

The NSW government hopes to save up to AU$10 million a year on desktop PC, notebook and server purchases with a new shared-service arrangement for hardware covering more than 100 agencies.

The arrangement, currently under a tender managed by the NSW Department of Commerce, is one of the largest shared-service projects undertaken yet by the government, and follows new procurement reforms brought in by the government last year.

The NSW government spends between AU$150 million to AU$175 million on new desktops and notebooks alone, 80 percent of which goes to the health and education departments and their smaller offset organisations.

Under the new shared-service agreement the Department of Commerce is responsible for all hardware purchases, according to NSW Department of Commerce CIO, Paul Edgecumbe.

This removed the need for departments to place individual tenders, while providing the added benefit of purchasing in bulk, Edgecumbe said.

Departments can choose from a reduced list of "environmentally sensitive" vendors that have international and local assembly lines that meet the department's own set specifications from already drawn up contracts, he added.

"It will no longer be a requirement for agencies to do subsequent tenders or to get quotes themselves -- prices will be known upfront and agencies will be able to simply select a vendor that suits their particular requirements."

"Small agencies with less procurement power will now be able to get the same deal as larger agencies that have traditionally seen all of the cost savings," Edgecumbe told ZDNet Australia.

The government also plans to release a list of suppliers for voice and data -- which has been valued at AU$260 million a year -- by the end of February. It is also working on a tender for corporate applications -- including HR, finance and payroll -- for the end of the second quarter this year.

"Like other major organisations, we are also looking into the issues around desktop software, and eventually, when the need arises, we will be around to databases and customer relationship management-type products," Edgecumbe said.

The agreement -- due to be finalised by the end of the first quarter -- is not the first such project the NSW government has undertaken. Procurement reforms brought in last July mandated general government procurement contracts across all areas.

The NSW government is not leading the pack with such reforms, however. It follows governments in Victoria, Queensland and Tasmania which have already been striving towards collaborative pricing to reduce ICT spending.

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