There’s widespread anecdotal evidence the Gershon Review has had a serious impact on the Federal ICT market. Now more than ever, it is important to identify where opportunities are in this tight market.
Intermedium has evidence Gershon and associated reviews have resulted in delays.
For example, the Attorney General’s Department published 25 ICT projects in its 2008-09 procurement plan. 13 of these items were deleted (or delayed) in a major update to the agency’s procurement plan in late November 2008. The reason given for the postponement of two major procurement projects, for Telecommunications Services and IT Hardware (printers, photocopiers, scanners, faxes) was the Gershon Review. The entry in the procurement plans for both contracts states: “Placed on hold due to Sir Peter Gershon’s ICT review”.
Another example is the Australian Customs Office. Of 7 new ICT projects expected to go to the market in 3rd and 4th quarter of the current financial year (according to the 2008-09 procurement plan), 5 have now been delayed. These projects are largely for the provision of telecommunications services, an area of the market subject to review in relation to co-ordated procurement options.
In a market slowed by factors including Gershon, a change of government, and various other enquires (the Mortimer enquiry in Defence) it is vital suppliers clearly understand the procurement intentions of their clients and prospects.
Agency procurement plans remain a valuable source of information about future requirements. These annual procurement plans are updated regularly to reflect changes in each agency's procurement activities. Intermedium’s scout IT prospecting tool report for December 2008 shows new ICT procurement plan entries were added during the month by five agencies, including Department of Climate Change that added 12 new ICT projects. Many other agencies provided details of changes they’d made to their procurement plans, including delays, amendments to requirements and deletions.
Expiring contracts give valuable view of future requirements Each year, Federal Government agencies enter into thousands of individual ICT contracts. While many are for one off requirements, a significant proportion are to meet on-going requirements. Tracking contracts that are due to “expire” is a valuable source of intelligence regarding the likely procurement requirements.
For example, if an agency enters into a contract for the supply of printers or PCs for a particular period, it is likely the requirement will be on-going. The agency may meet future needs by extending the initial contract, or by going to the market with a new tender at the end of the contract period. Being aware when such contracts are due to expire enables you to approach your clients and prospects at just the right time – when they are actively looking at their options!
The December 2008 scout IT report shows existing contracts valued at more than $424 million are due to end between February and June 2009, including:
- Human Resource Management software contracts worth more than $2m
- Desktop hardware contracts (11) worth $25m
- Managed Services contracts (33) valued at $367m
- Almost $50m worth of contracts (51) at Centrelink
- Defence Hardware contracts (30) valued at more than $13m