The Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research (DIISR) has released an RFT to establish “a panel of suppliers capable of providing specialist ICT services on an as-need basis in a timely manner”, for applications development and a range of other services, including infrastructure integration.
The Tender documents state that DIISR has “a certain level of in-house applications development expertise and is looking to establish some different delivery models to meet the growing workload”.
According to Intermedium’s classification system, relative to its per annum ICT spend, DIISR is a Tier 3, predominantly policy agency. It has few major business transaction systems and did not rank in the top 25 IT services purchasers in the last financial year, according to Intermedium's newly released IT Services 2008-09 Report. Post the Gershon Review it is faced, as all agencies are, with the requirement to reduce its reliance on ICT contractors.
According to the RFT, DIISR is not looking to put together a large panel. Given its relative size, a large panel would be self defeating, as there simply would not be sufficient work to allocate across a large group of suppliers, and the majority would quickly become disgruntled with the lack of work from the panel. This requirement also lines up with the tendency smaller agencies have to seek a more personal ongoing relationship with their suppliers.
Tender documents indicate DIISR is “open to innovative approaches to delivering the requirements and in particular, to delivering services remotely”. However, while remote access to an applications environment is available, the production network cannot be accessed in this way. This lack of access is an issue that is increasingly being faced by suppliers who wish to put cost effective solutions forward that involve working remotely, but who find that such solutions are unacceptable to agencies due to security concerns.
The innovate delivery of services remotely may also potentially open the door for off-shoring of relevant application development projects. IT Services companies who are able to off-shore such work at competitve rates are now increasingly being successful in their bids for government work, according to Intermedium's monitoring of the IT services market, particularly in the state jurisdictions.
Tenderers must have applications development expertise and be in a position to either provide a fixed price for a specified outcome or supplement the Department’s in-house teams on a specific project.
Tenderers are also to submit a proposal based on one or many of several technology frameworks listed in the document. These include:
- Specific Application Development Work
- Testing Services
- Data Base Administration
- Business and System Analysis
The RFT closes 4 February 2010. Tender documents can be found at www.tenders.gov.au.