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Significant Changes to Federal Agency Procurement Plans

by Staff Writers •
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It’s just over 6 months since the release of 2007-08 procurement plans by Federal Government agencies. Intermedium’s scout IT prospecting tool shows that the number of ICT items listed has increased by 13% since they were originally published in July 2007. There are now 445 ICT procurement plan items listed in scout IT, up from 394 at the start of the 2007-08 financial year.

Agency procurement plans are constantly changing, with new items added and others deleted, as well as changes in descriptions and timing for the item to be advertised. Keeping track of these changes is a difficult task.

scout IT lists all planned procurements according to when the agency expects to go to the market. It shows that less than 10% of all the ICT procurement plan items were advertised in the first 6 months of 2007-08.

81 ICT items are listed to go to the market during the period January - March 2008. Amongst these are:

  • Video Conferencing System (Centrelink)
  • IT Services, including Desktop, Midrange and Helpdesk Services, for all sites across Australia (DEW)
  • Content Management System (DVA)
  • Geographic Information System Software (Electoral Commission)
  • Desktop computers, notebooks and network servers (AFP)

In addition, 99 curent ICT contracts are due to "expire" in March-April 2008, including:

  • Mobile phone and Blackberry Services (DFAT, a $378,000 contract)
  • Purchase of desktop PCs and accessories (Centrelink, a $5.2m contract)
  • IT communication services (Tourism Australia, a $2.3m contract)

Significant changes have occurred in the procurement plans of several of the largest agencies.

Centrelink listed 13 ICT items in its 2007-08 procurement plan, amongst a total of 38 items. Centrelink’s planned ICT procurements include SAN Cards and Video Conferencing System. In the past 6 months, 4 new procurement plan items have been added, while 5 procurement plan items have been deleted. Therefore there are 12 current procurement plan items listed.

The Department of Defence procurement plan listed a total of 60 planned procurements for the 2007-08 financial year when it was first issued last July, only 12 of them for ICT. The planned Defence ICT procurements include, IT Services - Standing Offer Panel for Contractors, Project Management & Support Services in NID, PABX and Unclassified and Restricted Videoconferencing Services. There has been only one ICT item added to the initial plan, while 2 items have been advertised.

DIAC only listed 3 ICT items in its 2007-08 Procurement Plan, including Telecommunications Services, an Online Recruitment System and the Development of Training Materials for the System for People program. In the past 6 months 2 of these items have been advertised.

AFP is an example of an agency that regularly updates its procurement plan, noting if an item has gone to tender or if the procurement plan item has been deferred. In December the AFP issued an update which included on the “Risk Register Software” and “External Data Hosting” procurement plan items, both of which have been deferred to 2008.

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