The Department of Defence has today released a request for tender for a computing equipment panel to meet agency needs across government while it sets up long-awaited whole-of-government panels for desktops as well as telecommunications products and services.
Defence today released a tender for those vendors wanting to
participate in the panel — for desktops, notebooks, monitors
and thin client equipment — and will evaluate responses to
that tender in November and December.
The idea of the panel is to provide equipment to those agencies who require it
until new whole-of-government procurement arrangements are put in place. Defence had desktop
needs, according to a spokesperson for Finance Minister Lindsey Tanner, which had
instigated the formation of the panel. There was no need for an interim telecommunications panel, the spokesperson said.
It has taken a long time to release a timetable for these panels. Whole-of-government arrangements were suggested by Sir Peter Gershon in his report in October last year on federal government IT. The hope was to save money by using the government's scale and buying power.
One such arrangement has
already been put in place by Defence, which played lead
agency in a Microsoft volume sourcing agreement that was signed at the beginning of this year.
Yet the idea of having whole-of-government telecommunications procurement pre-dated even the Gershon report, with
Defence documents dated early 2008 speaking about putting arrangements in place. Meanwhile, documents mentioning combined
desktop procurement appear from early this year.
The long lead times have perhaps been due to the government commissioning scoping studies
for both desktop and telecommunications procurement. The desktop study was carried out by Capgemini.
The studies were positive. "Recent scoping studies undertaken
by the Rudd Government have shown that greater coordination in the
purchasing of these goods and services has the potential to achieve
significant savings," Tanner said today.
Yet the formation of the whole-of-government arrangements are still
a while off. The first of the panels for desktop computing equipment,
telecommunications invoice reconciliation services and
internet-based network connections won't be in place by the end of
the 2009/2010 financial year. Further panels for telecommunications management services and
devices such as mobile phone handsets were planned to go live
during the 2010/2011 year.