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Federal Agencies Publish Procurement Plans

by Staff Writers •
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FMA Act Federal Government agencies are required to publish forward procurement plans under the terms of the Australia USA Free Trade Agreement which came into force on 1 January 2005. These plans represent a valuable source of information about public sector procurement intentions. Intermedium is in the process of analysing these plans, and we share some of our initial impressions this week.

1 July 2008 was the deadline for impacted agencies to post forward procurement plans for the 2008-09 financial year. 97 plans had been posted on the AusTender website by that date. Key agencies that have listed their plans include Defence, Centrelink and Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC).

Intermedium expects that The Department of Defence will again dominate the Federal Government ICT market in 2008-09. During the 2006-07 financial year (the last complete year for which contracts data is available), Defence listed 4,592 ICT contracts with a total value of more than $800 million or over 20% of the total value of the Federal ICT market.

The Department of Defence and the Defence Materiel Organisation procurement plans list a total of 144 planned procurements for the 2008-09 financial year. Intermedium has identified just 22 ICT items amongst them. While this is a significant increase on the number of procurements it listed in its last year plans, Defence's published procurement plans clearly understate the level of ICT procurements it will undertake during the current financial year.

The 2008-09 Centrelink procurement plan is an example of a user friendly procurement plan. Procurements are sorted into sub-categories such as Property, Information and Technology Services and Human Resources, making analysis of ICT opportunities much more straightforward. Amongst the 19 requirements Centrelink listed for 2008-09, Intermedium identified 6 ICT items, again expected to be an understatement of the level of procurement activity that will occur in Centrelink this financial year.

The Department of Immigration and Citizenship, another of the "Tier 1" Federal agencies, listed only 1 ICT item (SAP Software), in its 2008-09 procurement plan. In 2006-07 DIAC’s total ICT and Large Office Machines contract value was almost $600 million.

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