Defence announced today that it has signed a services agreement with Unisys Australia aimed at improving the quality of information communication technology (ICT) service delivery at bases and sites across Australia.
Under the five-year contract, Unisys will provide day-to-day management, administration and support to over 100,000 desktop computers at 460 bases and establishments across Australia.
A media statement from Defence said that the agreement was signed today following "complex and detailed negotiations between Defence and Unisys." In fact, the negotiations have been ongoing for more than twelve months. In January 2007, Defence announced that Unisys had been selected as the preferred tenderer. The Request for Tender for this work was released to the market in 2005.
There has been media speculation that signing of the contract had been delayed by security concerns. Deputy Secretary Defence Support, Martin Bowles said "Defence would maintain control of its computer networks while Unisys would manage the day-to-day operations under strict policy and performance standards oversighted by Defence. These include strict security standards and procedures."
While Unisys is not contractually obliged to employ Defence staff affected by the new arrangements, the Department announced recently that it was expected that a number of staff would transfer to the Unisys. Defence will attempt to redeploy staff who do not accept positions with Unisys.
"The transition of Defence’s regional ICT operations to Unisys is expected to take about 18 months. Throughout this process, Defence will ensure that all personnel currently responsible for the functions transferring across to Unisys will have access to retraining, redeployment or redundancy entitlements," Mr Bowles said.