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“Fewer suppliers with more responsibility,” – Defence issues new ICT tenders

by Staff Writers •
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The Department of Defence (Defence) has released two Request for Tender (RFT) documents seeking new suppliers for a number of ICT contracts due to expire in 2010.

The tender documents, released January 15 through the AusTender website,, are part of the Defence ICT Strategy outlined last year.  The strategy aims to consolidate ICT spend, standardise a range of technologies and streamline the procurement process of ICT suppliers.

“Within a few years, Defence aims to have fewer suppliers of ICT services.  However, those suppliers who are selected as key strategic partners will have increased responsibility and the opportunity to contribute directly to Defence's business outcomes,” said Dr Mike Kelly, parliamentary secretary for Defence Support, in a statement announcing the Defence ICT Strategy.

The contracts, due to expire this year, include:

  • A contract for terrestrial communication services currently serviced by Telstra, due to end in June; and
  • A $200 million central ICT infrastructure contract currently serviced by Fujitsu's Kaz Group, which ends in November.

In an effort to optimise and streamline Defence ICT, the Defence ICT Strategy divided the Defence ICT portfolio into five Sub-Portfolios:

  1. Distributed computing, which includes service desks, workstations, mobile devices and regional ICT equipment;
  2. Centralised computing, which includes mainframe computing and storage;
  3. Terrestrial computing (network);
  4. Specialist communications and; and
  5. Applications.

The services required in the tender documents were outlined according to these new Sub-Portfolios, although the two tenders released only related to distributed and centralised computing.

As part of Defence’s ambition to achieve closer, more effective alignment with ICT stakeholders and suppliers, a stakeholder engagement team (SET) has been assigned to each of the Defence ICT Sub-Portfolios.  These will be responsible for; “translating the priorities and requirements raised by stakeholders into business requests,” according to the Defence ICT Strategy 2009 report.

The structure and roles of the SET’s include:

  • Account Executive: responsible for oversight of all activities within the respective Sub Portfolio;
  • SET Desk Officers: working to the Account Executive, the SET Desk Officers are responsible for engagement with stakeholders and for dealing with the prioritisation and progression of ICT outcomes;
  • Enterprise Architect: this role ensures all activities utilise current capabilities, conform, where applicable, to the Enterprise Architecture, and ensure the Sub-Portfolio can leverage emerging technology;
  • Development Executive: this role is responsible for:
    • Overseeing all enterprise- wide development activities;
    • Raising solutions to off-track project;
    • Ensuring development effort for all options being assessed is understood; and
    • Providing a communication channel between projects and stakeholders to maximise understanding by all parties of delivery related issues, constraints and priorities.
  • Service Executive: this role is responsible for overseeing delivery of all standard ICT services within the respective Sub-Portfolios and ensuring the impact to Defence ICT of new requirements being considered is understood.

Defence has 82,700 Windows Workstations, 1873 Windows servers, 220 Unix services, 8400 printers, 150,000 fixed telephones or faxes, 20,000 mobile phones, 750 routers and 6050 switches and maintains secure networks supporting some 100,000 users in Australia and overseas.

The complete Defence ICT Strategy 2009 report is available at:

For more information on Defence ICT tenders, visit the AusTender website at

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