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Defence CIO: Systems Integrator Panel due this month

by David Shi and Paris Cowan •
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Greg Farr, Chief Information Officer at the Department of Defence, has told industry representatives at a Brisbane industry briefing that they ought to keep an eye out for major ICT tenders that are due to be released in the near future.

He said that a Request for Tender (RFT) for the Systems Integrator Panel, which has been relabelled the Applications Managed Services Panel (AMSPA), is due to be released this month.

Defence released a Draft AMSPA RFT in April 2011, revealing that it would seek a Preferred Industry Partner (or partners) to fulfil more than $340 million worth of applications management business.

Also due for a June release is an RFT for a Defence Hardware Refresh.

Major procurements related to Defence’s Strategic Reform Program (SRP) were also revealed to be well underway.

Released in 2010, the SRP identified ICT as a key area for reform. This ICT reform will be supported by around $1.2 billion in investment between 2009 and 2019. Through these reforms, industry contracts will be consolidated into three logistical service bundles: centralised processing, terrestrial communications and distributed computing.

Farr said that first pass approval was expected on a centralised processing project in June, and that a program of work for Distributed Computing is scheduled for 2013.

A major Terrestrial Communications bundle of work is also under negotiation will be managed by a Tier 1 partner of Defence.

The shortlisted tenderers are:

  • Dimension Data Australia Pty Ltd
  • Fujitsu Australia Limited
  • Optus Networks Pty Limited
  • Telstra Corporation Limited

Farr also used the Queensland briefing to outline a program of ICT infrastructure remediation that will take place across the State’s Defence facilities over the next five years, with a program of work currently underway to identify priority sites..

Farr said that business requests for cabling at Gallipoli Barracks, servers and PCs for RAAF Townsville and Oakey, and Defence Wide Area Communications Network at Longreach have already been approved.

While the main contract for this work is required to go to a member of the Defence Information Environment Infrastructure Site Integration Panel (DISIP), he said that other ICT vendors, especially those local to Queensland, may be able to capitalise on subcontracting opportunities.

The DISIP was established in 2007 to deliver restricted and secret network ICT services to Defence users, and includes Boeing Australia, CDM, Kaz Group and Thales Australia.

The briefing also covered some of the concerns that Farr has for the Defence ICT environment, including:

  • Infrastructure -  a significant proportion of Defence assets currently out-dated;
  • Architecture  - there exists a lack of consistency and standardised reference models as well as issues with compatibility;    
  • Organisation and Culture –barriers include organisational stove piping and a lack of transparency; and
  • Contracting and Procurement - too many small, inefficient contracts

Many of these concerns are being addressed under the SRP.

Defence runs eight satellite constellations; 6,000 servers; 107,000 work stations; three primary domains; three primary data centres, 200+ server rooms and 3086 applications.

On the same day as the Defence industry briefing, the Logan City Council held its own briefing, the morning conference part of a series of Partners in Technology briefings being run by the Department of Employment, Economic Development and innovation to nurture closer ties between government and industry. With an annual ICT Budget of $10 million, 1700 desktops and 200 servers, the Council’s major procurement plan aims to create added value, overall quality, enhance user experience, and making interaction with businesses easier.

Related Articles:

A share of $340 million up for grabs as Defence embarks on journey to transform supplier relations

Defence deploys procurement reforms to protect budget bottom-line

Defence to tender for terrestrial communications bundle

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  • strategic reform program
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