The ATO has announced a shortlist of five companies to contest the end-user computing services contract expected to be worth up to $60 million per year, with a couple of surprises.
Following expressions of interest from 10 suppliers, the ATO has shortlisted CSC, EDS, KAZ, Unisys and Lockheed Martin.
The two surprises in this announcement are the inclusion of Lockheed Martin, a company better known for work in defence and aerospace sectors than more conventional ICT projects, and the absence of IBM.
The next stage of the process will involve short-listed companies participating in a series of workshops (August-September) to enable the ATO to finalise its requirements and the bundle scope. This process is expected to short-list two potential prime contractors with whom parallel negotiations will be held.
Currently worth an estimated $40m per year, this contract is expected to grow to $60m per year during the life of the contract. The contract is initially for 4-5 years, but with extensions may continue for up to 10 years.
It is expected that ATO may be one of the first agencies to implement some of the Government’s new approach on ICT procurement. The presence of so many observers from other agencies at the April industry briefing, together with the ATO predicating its presentation with a statement on emerging Federal Government procurement policy (below), suggests a growing likelihood of standardisation and consolidation of EUC procurement, perhaps through an expansion of contract “piggybacking”, as the Rudd Government reins in ICT spending.
This is the part of the ATO’s technology refresh program that commenced in October 2007, ending its single-supplier arrangement with EDS (worth over $1b) that had been in place since 1999. The ATO identified three ICT infrastructure bundles for market testing.
The first went to the market with a tender (EOI) for Managed Network Services released in January 2008. The EOI for end-user computing was released in April 2008, and the EOI for Centralised Computing was released in late June.
The EUC procurement arrangement covers 33,000 workstations and laptops, around 1,800 printers (MFDs are excluded at this stage) and 370 infrastructure servers, with the contract potentially to last for 10 years. Other mobile devices may fall within scope as the ATO develops its capability in response to emerging technologies.