The Victorian Department of Treasury and Finance (DTF) has published the latest list of suppliers on its whole-of-government eServices Panel, following the addition of an extra 180 panellists in October 2011.
The panel, which is compulsory for use by all Budget Sector agencies in Victoria, covers 18 different categories of ICT Services procurement.
While most of the major players in the IT Services space held onto their panel membership during the dramatic round of panel cuts that took place in May 2011, the addition of some big names is likely to enhance the level of competition for IT Services contracts in the Victorian public sector.
CA, EMC, Microsoft, UXC Connect and Oracle were all added to the list at the end of October.
Several telecommunications providers have also been included on the panel since its refresh, including Macquarie Telecom and Telstra.
Research and consulting firms Gartner and PriceWaterhouseCoopers also made it on to the new panel.
According to Intermedium’s preliminary analysis, only two suppliers showing-up on the July 2011 list of panellists appear to have been removed from the newest panel, Database Consultants Australia and WebDynamic Systems.
However, some reports suggest that other panellists have found that the number categories in which they are approved to supply has been restricted, despite retaining their panel membership.
The Baillieu Government has also fielded criticism from Parliament over the time taken to finalise the new eServices supplier list.
“In his press release of 31 October the minister claimed that the panel now has 368 suppliers, which is the largest number since its inception. However, this is misleading, because according to the website 72 of the suppliers are not available to take on work until further notice,” said the Victorian Opposition’s technology spokesperson Adem Somyurek, on 10 November.
“The ICT industry is painfully aware that the word 'refresh' is a euphemism for the botched tendering process,” he added.
However a spokesperson for the DTF has advised Intermedium that those suppliers marked as “unavailable for eServices engagements until further notice” on the eServices website are merely in the process of completing the final stages of contract negotiations and that this list is being updated on a daily basis to reflect the ongoing finalisation of the agreements between these companies and the Victorian Government.
As of 17 November 2011, 31 suppliers remained unavailable to Victorian Government agencies due to unfinished contract negotiations.
The Victorian Government commenced a scheduled renewal of its eServices Panel in February 2011, by asking that all current and prospective suppliers re-tender for membership. As a result of the process, 65 former panellists lost their places, sparking vocal criticism from the Victorian Opposition and industry bodies alike.
In response to this criticism, the Baillieu Government announced in July that it would reconsider the decision to shrink the panel, and would give removed suppliers the opportunity to re-apply for a place. The subsequent panel is the largest incarnation of the eServices panel since it was first established in 2003, with a total of 368 members.
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