Defence has joined Centrelink as the second Tier 1 agency to enter into large contracts for the provision of desktop hardware since the new year began. The contracts have been put in place just prior to the issue of the whole-of-government Request for Tender (RFT) by the Department of Finance and Deregulation (Finance). The RFT - for the supply of desktops, laptops, associated accessories and services, under a panel arrangement - was issued on 2 February 2010.
On 5 January 2010 Centrelink published two contracts for the supply of Desktop Personal Computers, both with Acer Computers Australia. The combined value of the two contracts is just over $9m.
The first contract, for almost $7m has a contract duration of just over 1 year – from 1 Dec 2009 to 31 Dec 2010. The other, for just over $2m has a duration of three years – from 24 Dec 2009 to 23 Dec 2012.
Standing Offer Notice (SON) 26466, a panel with Acer as the only supplier, was utilised for both contracts. This SON has a start date of 10 August 2007 and is scheduled to end on 24 March 2010. These acquisitions are therefore likely to be amongst the last transacted from the Acer SON prior to the new Whole of Government Panel arrangement being put in place by Finance.
On 2 February 2010, Defence published 9 contracts with Dell Australia Pty Ltd for desktop hardware. The contracts indicate that a ‘select’ procurement method was used, but do not provide any panel contract details.
Two large contracts in this set have the same start dates (22 January 2010), but slightly different expiry dates. The larger contract, valued at just over $2m, expires on 14 March 2010. The smaller contract, valued at $1.6m, expired on 14 February 2010.
According to an article published in ZDNet, on 5 February, Defence formed an interim panel for hardware with the following panellists:
- ASI Solutions
- Acer Computers Australia Pty Ltd
- Data#3 Limited
- Datacom Systems (ACT) Pty Ltd
- Dataflex Pty Ltd
- Dell Australia Pty Ltd
- Ethan Group Pty Ltd
- Lenovo (Australia & New Zealand) Pty Ltd
- Hewlett Packard Australia Pty Ltd
The significance of these 4 large contracts is that Centrelink and Defence are the only Tier 1 Federal Government agencies who do not have managed services arrangements in place covering the supply of their desktop fleets. As such, they can be expected to be amongst the highest users of the Finance Whole-of-Government Panel for Desktop and Laptop suppliers when this is put in place – expected, according to the Tender documents, to be April or May of 2010.
Given that Defence is quoted by MIS to have 162,400 screens (82,700 Windows Workstations, according to a recent tender), the recent spend with Dell is not likely to be significant in terms of its all up fleet needs.
But the $9m spent by Centrelink with Acer is likely to be a different matter. Depending upon how its desktop numbers are estimated - MIS estimated 38,000screens, but Centrelink says it has 27,000 staff, these contracts may represent a refresh of between 33% and 50% of its desktop fleet. At this level, Centrelink is not likely to require too much from the Whole-of-Government panel in the near term.