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ACCC switches providers in new IT outsourcing deal

by Paris Cowan •
Free resource

UXC Connect  will be replaced as the key IT managed services provider at the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), after Datacom Systems signed a $15 million deal that will see it manage the agency’s IT infrastructure through to May 2014.

The contract will provide a huge boost to the value of Datacom’s contracting with the Federal Government, which was worth $14.3 million in 2009-10 and $9.4 million in 2010-11.

According to Intermedium’s Outsourcing Report, the ACCC has outsourced its ICT infrastructure since 1999, when it contracted Advantra to provide it with midrange, desktop, data communications and other services under the Group 5 contract.

Casting aside a pervasive tendency in the Federal IT outsourcing market to stick with incumbents, the ACCC has switched between three more IT outsourcing suppliers since the Group 5 contract collapsed in 2003.

In 2004, the Commission signed with ASG for $2.9 million, and then followed this up in 2007 with what appears to have been a 12 month extension worth $1.3 million.

Following a fresh approach to market in 2007, the ACCC confirmed UXC Getronics (now UXC Connect) as its new outsourcing partner in July 2008, signing a contract that will expire in September this year. Originally signed for $4.5 million, according to media reports at the time, the UXC Connect deal has increased in value to $11.1 million over its four year lifetime, including the deployment of a single option to extend.

The latest contract with Datacom Systems, which will have an average value of approximately $7.5 million per annum, reveals a dramatic increase in the cost of supporting the ACCC’s ICT functions over the past decade.

According to its 2010-11 Annual Report the Commission’s supplier expenditure for ICT was $6.6 million in 2011.

In 2010-11 the ACCC commenced planning for an IT transformation programme focused around a refresh of its desktop services. The programme will implement outcomes identified in an agency ICT Strategic Plan, which was still under development when the Commission’s last Annual Report was published.

According to the Annual Report, the ACCC had the following projects underway in 2010-11:

  • Roll-out of an enterprise-wide EDRMS, containing 8.7 million documents and built on a virtual platform;
  • Decommissioning of Novell operating system;
  • Dedicated support for virtualised desktops;
  • Virtualisation of all website servers;
  • Consolidation of email server infrastructure;
  • Expansion of storage area network infrastructure; and
  • Modernisation of ACCC website base using Sytadel 5.

The ACCC is currently working to transfer its website from the Sytadel content management system across to the open source Drupal platform. The Commission told IT News that the project team was working to a “very tight timetable” in order to have the transition complete before 1 July 2012, which is when strict budget cuts will come into effect for Federal Government agencies.

Deep cuts for 2012-13 were announced in the 2011-12 Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook (MYEFO) with the efficiency dividend now due to increase to 4 per cent for 2012-13, and capital expenditure cuts of up to 20 per cent for certain agencies.

The Datacom contract too has been resolved ahead of the impending budget tightening.

Elsewhere in the Federal Government, the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) has pushed back the date it intends to go to market to refresh both tranches of its outsourcing arrangement to quarter four of 2011-12, according to its procurement plans.

In July 2011 the Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism (DRET) invited expressions of interest to be part of a new consolidated IT outsourcing arrangement, saying that it would come to a decision about whether or not to go ahead with a contract later in the year.


Related Articles:

Procurement plans reveal DIAC’s outsourcing intentions

Outsourcing report reveals the value of incumbency in Federal Government ICT market

ACCC seeks support for comprehensive IT transformation programme

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