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NSW refreshes whole-of-government hardware panel

by Paris Cowan •
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Despite the name, technology suppliers will no longer have to be lucky to win membership of the NSW Government’s new panel number 888 for ICT hardware.

The new deal, which in this first stage will cover the end-user devices formerly procured through State Contract 2007, will be open to new applications at any point between today and its first contract expiry on 30 April 2015, meaning that suppliers will not be locked out if they miss a tendering window.

Suppliers will, however, be expected to commit to unit prices agreed to by the Department of Finance and Services (DFS) for specific government standard devices. These prices will then be reduced by 2 per cent per quarter for the term of the panel’s operation, alongside other currency-based adjustments. Suppliers will also have to commit to ceiling prices for non-government standard devices.

At this stage, eligibility to apply is limited to Original Equipment Manufacturers and sole Australian distributors of the devices specified under the new procurement scheme.

Panel 888 will eventually expand to incorporate all of the ICT hardware panels currently operating in the State, with additions to take place “as opportunity arises” according to tender documents. Panel expiries are likely to provide trigger points, meaning that vendors can expect future approaches to market on or around the following dates:

  1. 30 April 2014 for storage, server platforms and virtualisation technology currently procured under State Contract 2846; and
  2. 30 June 2015 for printers and other imaging devices, currently procured under State Contract 2390.

Making panel 888 perpetually open to new suppliers will loosen up an ICT market that has previously been the restricted domain of just nine vendors accredited under the State’s desktop hardware panel 2007, including:

  1. Acer
  2. ASI Solutions
  3. Dell
  4. Fujitsu
  5. Hewlett-Packard
  6. Lenovo
  7. Panasonic
  8. Pioneer
  9. Toshiba

According to various Annual Reports issued by the DFS, procurement through Panel 2007 was worth $105.8 million in 2010-11 and $92 million in 2011-12.

The implementation of a category-wide panel arrangement follows on from the recent establishment of a State-wide Software Agreement, which will incorporate all current software deals progressively over coming months.

The nature of the 888 hardware deal also confirms the NSW Government’s commitment to opening up the way that it conducts coordinated procurement, by making panels constantly accessible to new applicants rather than enforcing fixed terms. By making price demands on its applicants, however, the new panel is instantly more restrictive than arrangements that have been established within the last 12 months for less-commoditised goods like ICT services and labour hire.

Interested vendors are invited to submit applications for membership of the new panel via email. Details are available via NSW eTendering.

Related Articles:

NSW dumps three whole-of-government panels

NSW Government to overhaul software procurement

The end of whole-of-government panels in NSW


For more information, please contact the Editor (02) 9955 9896.

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