The Federal Whole-of-Government Desktop Hardware Panel (WGDP), announced in October by the Australian Government Information Management Office (AGIMO) is well and truly underway.
Panel Suppliers completed their first round of Best and Final Offer (BAFO) for evaluation by AGIMO – which located within the Department of Finance and Deregulation – some time ago and are now working on their second BAFO round bids for the October - December Quarter, an AGIMO spokesperson has told Intermedium.
The list of panellists includes desktop manufacturers Acer, Dell and Lenovo. Hewlett Packard is not yet on the list and is believed to either therefore be in continuing contract negotiations, or is intending to be represented on the panel by a channel partner. It is understood that at least one reseller on the panel will be capable of offering Hewlett Packard devices.
Other absent manufacturers include Apple, Toshiba and Fujitsu. However, these company’s products will be available in through the Panel in some categories via selected resellers. Resellers on the list bid their products as part of the tender process, and had those products evaluated as meeting the tendered specifications.
Key to the WGDP is a quarterly procurement mechanism which calls on panellists to provide a BAFO price for the goods and/or services they are entitled to provide under the panel arrangement. In a sudden death ‘bake off’ process, the supplier quoting the lowest price wins the right to supply that particular good or service for the ensuing quarter.
AGIMO is responsible for this quarterly review process, which begins with agencies providing the Office with a forecast of their desktop requirements for the nominated quarter. These requirements are then aggregated into a total requirement by AGIMO for Panellists to respond against.
To date, the unsuccessful bidders for the first quarter’s BAFO have not been informed of the successful supplier, or the winning price for the quarter.
The WGDP arrangement, which covers the supply of desktop PCs, mobile PCs, monitors and associated services to federal government agencies, is one of a number of coordinated procurement initiatives by AGIMO.
IntermediumManaging Director Judy Hurditch believes that the Panel heralds an expansion of such arrangements wherever the market has matured for the goods or services sought, and there is little to differentiate the products on features or functions.
“It is quite likely that we will see standing offer arrangements of this nature extend to other whole-of- government ICT procurement for items regarded as commodities,” she said.
For the 2009-10 financial year, the total value of desktop contracts (including laptops) was $71.8 million, according to Intermedium’s Analyse IT business intelligence tool
The WGDP also encompasses a range of Hardware Support services and Analyse IT reveals that the total value of these support contracts accounted for an additional $40.1 million in 2009-10.
“Demand in 2010-11 is likely to mirror the previous financial year, however we will have to wait and see whether these new pricing mechanisms will force down the contract total,” Ms Hurditch said.
All agencies subject to the Financial Management and Accountability Act 1977 (FMA Act) are obliged to source all of their desktop requirements according to the new WGDP arrangements. Agencies subject to the Commonwealth Authorities and Companies Act 1997 (CAC Act) are not obliged to use this arrangement but have the option of doing so.
As of 10 December 2010, Hewlett-Packard has been included on the Desktop Hardware Panel.