Vendor disquiet over the fate of the Australian Tax Office’s major desktop and service desk Approach to the Market have eased with the ATO quashing rumours that the exercise had been put on ‘indefinite hold.’
After a period of unease during which doubts about the program surfaced, tenderers are now convinced the tender will go ahead. The tender process was one of three such intended ‘approaches’ (along with Managed Network Services and Centralised Computing) as part of the unbundling of the 10 year, $2.4 billion dollar monolithic EDS contract.
With memories of the failed Access Card still fresh in the minds of the vendor community, any significant hold on the ATO tender is likely to dismay respondents. Budgets are now very tight due to the combined impact of the Global Financial Crisis and the overall downturn in Federal Government ICT contracts. Company head offices now carefully risk manage their financial exposure to large tenders.
A Tax Office spokesperson provided the following reassurance when contacted: “The Tax Office has called for expressions of interest for its end-user computing services tender. We have received expressions of interest and are currently reviewing them before issuing a request for tender. The vendors have all been kept informed during this process.”