An Expression of Interest for the delivery of IT Infrastructure Services to Victorian Government agencies released today marks the beginning of the end for public sector ICT shared services provider CenITex.
Earlier this year, it was revealed that the corruption-plagued agency would likely become a broker of outsourced services rather than a provider, which is confirmed by the EOI documents.
“This Invitation for Expression of Interest (EOI) marks the beginning of a competitive procurement process for the delivery of some or all of the services that CenITex currently provides to many Victorian Government departments and agencies,” says the invitation for EOI.
Services which have thus far been provided by CenITex and will now be outsourced to the market have been split into five bundles:
- Desktop and end user services;
- Processing platforms;
- Storage platforms;
- Local network management services; and
- Service desk.
Informing the decision to change the role of CenITex are ongoing corruption allegations against senior procurement staff, including a damning report by the Victorian Ombudsman. Significant cost inefficiencies have also been found in CenITex’s operations, with the agency’s 2011-12 annual report disclosing a total operating deficit of $37.5 million. The provision of services to Government agencies worth $153 million were found to have cost CenITex $159 million. The agency was also running a number of other inefficient programs of work
“We are looking to the private sector to deliver more efficient and effective ICT services for government,” said Minister for Technology, Gordon Rich-Phillips.
“New opportunities have emerged in the market, including cloud and cloud based services. These services offer potentially more cost effective and responsive ways of delivery than can be provided by an internal service provider.”
Applicants can submit expressions of interest for one or more of the five service bundles, but must demonstrate their capability to provide the full range of services under the relevant bundles.
The scope of desktop and end user services includes the provision of hardware, support services and collaboration services such as shared email, calendaring, real-time messaging and conferencing. The Victorian Government’s current hardware requirements are estimated to include 33,000 desktops, 4,500 tablets and smartphones and 2,800 printers. The operating environment is comprised of Windows XP and 7, Microsoft Office, McAfee, Citrix, Lotus Notes, IBM Sametime and M-suite mobility tools.
The provision of processing platforms includes data centre facilities, fully managed (including shared and co-managed) environments, server and database management, application hosting and security across a range of IBM, Apache, Peoplesoft, Oracle, Microsoft Windows and Linux systems and platforms. The Victorian Government procures around 6,500 server units.
The storage platforms category covers shared SAN storage, file services, and backup and recovery at Tiers 1, 2 and 4.
Local network management services includes wired and wireless LAN management, network infrastructure management, firewall services and network gateway services across around 620 Government sites. The Network Services Manager function has been excluded from this bundle, and is expected to be included in the currently under-development whole-of-government VicConnect program for telecommunications procurement.
The final service desk category covers managed service requests, including lifecycle management and level one support for selected business systems.
As a broker of these services, CenITex has indicated its interest in “exploring new technologies and architectures” beyond “lift and shift” provisions. This includes the potential procurement of mobility solutions for the state-wide public sector workforce through the desktop services bundles, according to EOI documents.
The purpose of the EOI stage is to familiarise suppliers with the range of IT infrastructure management services currently provided by CenITex and derive a shortlist of vendors with the “capacity, capability and commitment” to meet Government agencies’ needs, according to EOI documents.
Shortlisted suppliers will be involved in the development of requirements for the final Request for Proposal, which is expected to be released on a limited basis in January 2014. Resulting contracts are anticipated to commence from May 2014.
An industry briefing will be held on 19 September 2013 in Melbourne. EOI submissions close on 10 October 2013.
For more information, please contact the Editor (02) 9955 9896.