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Commander's Fisheries contract up for grabs

The Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF) has called for suppliers to bid for its managed IT services work while the incumbent Commander holds its breath.
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Written by Suzanne Tindal on

The Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF) has called for suppliers to bid for its managed IT services work while the incumbent Commander holds its breath.

The Department's IT services have been provided since 2000 by Commander subsidiary Volante, as part of the "Group 8" agency cluster which once included the Australian Public Service Commission, the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, the Department of Environment and Heritage, the Australian Broadcasting Authority, the Australian Communications Authority, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Service and the Civil Aviation Safety Authority.

That contract, which expires 26 June 2009, was worth AU$48 million a year across all the agencies, according to the Australian Public Service Commission 2004/2005 annual report.

The new DAFF contract will involve managing 5,000 PCs and laptops over 300 sites, 400 printers, 300 servers, three storage area networks (SAN), 40 terabytes of data on file services and SANs, and over 30 mid-range applications. Any other agency can also decide to take advantage of the successful tenderer's offer.

The initial term will be for five years, but may be extended for a maximum of 10 years. The DAFF has not nominated a figure for providing the services.

After losing its contract for managing the Australian Department of Infrastructure, Regional Development and Local Government's IT infrastructure when it was retendered, incumbent Commander will be crossing its fingers.

The managed services market, which has "very healthy" margins according to Commander CEO Amanda Lacaze, is an important focus of the company's turnaround plan, which has seen non-core parts of the business sold off, and 600 staff made redundant.

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