NSW Government agencies procured well over $670 million worth of ICT goods and services through whole-of-government panels in 2010-11.
The use of NSW panels, or state contracts, has increased steadily over the past six years, with the total value of procurements through the contracts rising 1.4 per cent to $3.72 billion in the 2010-11 financial year according to the latest Annual Report released by the Department of Finance and Services (DFS).
While this figure is below the $3.9 billion targeted by the State Contracts Control Board (SCCB), the Government expects this rate of growth to increase in coming years owing to changes to the way that procuring agencies are accredited to using these panels.
The Contract 2020 panel for IT Services saw $112.5 million worth of contracts signed in 2010-11, making it the seventh most used State Contract.
The total procurement conducted through the NSW Government Telecommunications Agreements (GTAs) came to $345.7 million, making the GTA bundle the third most used of the State Contracts. The GTA bundle includes GTA 1A for data Services; GTA 3 for fixed voice services; GTA 4 for mobile, paging and satellite products and services; and GTA 5 for telecommunications services and systems.
State Contract 2007 for PC’s, notebooks, servers and associated servers was ranked eighth overall in terms of the value of usage, with $105.8 million worth or procurements conducted through it.
State Contract 2390 for imaging devices and document solutions, which is currently undergoing a membership refresh, was ranked twelfth overall with $58.9 million worth of individual contracts signed.
The top panel was State Contract 653 for the acquisition of motor vehicles, followed by Contract 100 for contingent workforce.
The SCCB, which is made up of senior NSW Government bureaucrats including Director-General of the DFS Michael Coutts-Trotter, oversees the procurement of goods and services in the NSW Government and manages the whole-of-government panels.
The Board anticipates that the use of State Contracts by NSW Agencies will increase in coming years, due to a revised Agency Accreditation Scheme that is being rolled out in 2011-12.
The Agency Accreditation Scheme is the mechanism by which the SCCB assesses the procurement resources and competencies of agencies and accredits them to purchase goods and services accordingly.
“For agency-specific needs, accredited agencies are able to obtain goods and services not available under State Contract without reference to the SCCB up to their maximum contract value,” explained a spokesman for the DFS.
Under the revised scheme, all agencies are expected to maintain basic Level One accreditation, which allows them to sign contracts up to $250,000. Level Two accreditation allows agencies to attain an upper contracting limit between $250,000 and $30 million. Level Three accredited agencies have no upper limit and are offered the opportunity to become lead agencies participating in the planning, strategy and delivery of State Contracts, and also acting as lead buyers.
Creating incentives to become Level Three agencies is one of the mechanisms the Government hopes will boost State Contract use into the future. An agency’s policy when it comes to the use of State Contracts, and their history of panel use, will be taken into account during the accreditation process, and those which have utilised the State Contracts for all applicable procurements will be duly rewarded.
In addition, agencies will be asked to submit detailed procurement plans annually, so that any new areas of demand can be met through the establishment of a State Contract will be identified early.
At present the SCCB is also considering the future of the State’s largest ICT contracts, some of which are due to expire early in 2012.
Contract 2020 for IT Services will meet its expiry as of 28 February 2012, a date which is fast approaching. However, the DFS has advised Intermedium that the panel is still under review and its future is unlikely to be confirmed before the SCCB has an opportunity to meet again.
The four GTAs are in similar situation, with their fate still under review by the SCCB despite the fact that GTA 3, GTA 4 and GTA 5 are all due to expire in March 2012.
GTA 1A will expire in December 2012, after it seems that both of its one year extensions were deployed following the expiry of its original term in December 2010.
GTAs 3 and 4 appear to have options to extend remaining, if the SCCB decides to use them.
DFS informed Intermediumin September this year that the renewal of State Contract 2007B for hardware services was being postponed while the Board reviewed the underperforming panel.