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When the going gets tough, the tough look for new opportunities

by Staff Writers •
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At Intermedium's recent "Year in Review" Briefing, we reported the number of Federal ICT contracts published in 2008-09 has continued its steady decline since the peak in contract activity, at 18,860, in 2005-06. In the year to 30 June 2009, the number of contracts reported was 15,195, the lowest on record.

With fewer ICT contracts coming to the market, competition for each opportunity will intensify.

Potential suppliers should anticipate opportunities and position themselves as far in advance as possible to maximize their chance of success in every opportunity. A valuable source of market information is "expiring contracts" data.

Each year, Federal Government agencies enter into thousands of individual ICT contracts. While many are to meet "one off" requirements (fixed term projects, system implementations, etc), a significant proportion are to meet on-going requirements.

Tracking contracts that are due to "expire" is a valuable source of intelligence regarding likely future procurement. The Commonwealth Procurement Guidelines set out clear requirements for market testing and tendering, highlighting the contestable nature of many contracts.

An agency that enters into a three-year contract for helpdesk support, for example, is likely to return to the market when the contract nears its conclusion. Being aware when such contracts are due to expire enables suppliers who want to compete for the business to approach clients and prospects at just the right time when they are actively considering their options!

Intermedium has identified more than 1,070 Federal Government ICT contracts due to expire in the period to 30 June 2010. They include:

  • $213m Managed Telco Services contract for Centrelink (5 year contract);
  • $3.6m Data centre space in Canberra for DEST (now DEEWR) (3 year contract);
  • $923,000 Printing and Photocopying Goods and Services for all DPP Offices (4 year contract);
  • $353,000 EDMS contract at Future Fund Management Agency (3 year contract); and
  • $211m Mainframe leasing contract at Centrelink (4 year contract); and
  • $2.5m Printer Services contract at Veteran's Affairs (2 years).

Intermedium's research shows less than half of Federal Government ICT contracts go to open tender, reinforcing the importance of tracking existing contracts, and understanding when an agency might to go back to the market.

This information is published in scout IT, Intermedium's comprehensive Federal Government ICT prospecting tool, that provides updated details for all published ICT procurement plans, contracts due to "expire" within the next 24 months (updated monthly) and a historical view of the last 12 months of ICT tenders.

Each month, scout IT provides details of significant ICT contracts (greater than $80,000 in value) due to expire during the next 24 months. The contract details provided include:

  • Contract commencement and end date;
  • Value of the contract;
  • Contract description;
  • Agency name;
  • Supplier name; and
  • Product/service category and sub-category.
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