Intermedium’s analysis of agency procurement plans shows that Department of Health and Ageing (DHA) has deferred a number of major ICT projects.
ICT procurement projects slated to go to the market before 30 June 2009 have now been pushed out to 2010-11. These include:
- End-user services (including helpdesk and MFD)
- Network and communications
- Mid-range platform and services
- Gateway services
This was part of DHA’s move to break up its existing IT infrastructure outsourcing arrangement. The Department has outsourced its IT requirements to IBM since the 1990s, an arrangement covering mainframe, midrange, network, storage and desktop support. In early 2004, the contract with IBM was extended to June 2009.
On 20 February this year, DHA published a contract (Information & Communications Technology Services Agreement) with IBM covering the period 11 December 2008 to 30 June 2011, suggesting the arrangement with IBM has again been extended. With the major procurement now planned for 2010-11, it seems IBM may continue its dominant position at DHA for another two years.
TGA takes responsibility for its own ICT
For some time, Intermedium has been monitoring developments in the Department of Health and Ageing, and the fact that it is gradually consolidating its responsibilities, and shedding tasks that were not aligned with a core policy agency.
In September 2007, the medium ran a story about the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), highlighting a recent tender as evidence TGA’s direction was increasingly to transform into an independent agency, taking responsibility for its own ICT requirements.
In recent changes to DHA’s procurement plan, a number of major procurements for TGA were listed, expected to go to the market this financial year. This seems to support the view that TGA and National Health and Medical Research Organization (another agency within the DHA portfolio) are increasingly “going their own way” on ICT.