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In other government ICT news this week, 28 January 2014

by Intermedium •
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The Australian Bureau of Statistics is looking for a telecommunications services vendor to provide voice carrier services to the Agency. The ABS has issued a Request for Tender (RFT) to cater for the agency’s fixed line services which currently connect the internal telephone system to the Public Switched Telephone Network (PTSN). According to tender documents, the ABS is looking to explore Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) voice services which includes video conferencing, instant messaging and file transfer. The contract length is three years with the ABS ruling out a pre-paid agreement. The RFT closes on 18 February 2014.

The ABS is also looking for a vendor to conduct an ICT Capability Review of how to best undertake its 2016 Census computer system. The agency is aiming for the first digital census in 2016, however, tender documents state that “while this approach will lead to significant processing efficiencies for the Bureau, it also comes with some significant risks, particularly around data capture and the ICT infrastructure requirements”. The successful tender will be required to independently scrutinise ABS’ planning including ICT staffing, risk management and the proposed budget. The digital census project has received funding of $470 million over five years, including an IT spend of around $70 million.

The Queensland Department of Science, Information Technology, Innovation and the Arts (DSITIA) has signed a $9.7 million contract with Dimension Data for the provision of software asset management services, reports CRN. DSITIA issued an Invitation to Offer (ITO) in August 2013 for a whole-of-government software asset management contract including:

  • Software license management as a service;
  • Assistance with planning and costing; and
  • Provision and management of a cloud hosted enterprise software asset management toolset.

Dimension Data’s first task will be identifying saving opportunities based on the data holdings of Queensland agencies. 

The Federal Government’s three largest departments, Defence, Human Services (DHS) and the Australian Tax Office (ATO) accounted for more than half of the 3353 public service redundancies between July 2012 and October 2013. Data from the Department of Finance supplied to Senate Estimates in November 2013, indicated that Defence had taken the biggest hit with 764 redundancies or three per cent of its workers. In comparison, most agencies recorded loses of one to two per cent. DHS recorded 633 redundancies while the ATO recorded 317.

The Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) is looking to replace its existing Legal Information System, first developed in 1997. The system manages and tracks immigration cases before the courts by providing statistical, precedent and workflow information. The pre-release notice for the Expression of Interest (EOI) marks the first step in the procurement process that is set out in the Department’s annual procurement plan. According to the plan, DIBP anticipates that it will approach the market with a Request for Tender (RFT) in Q3 of 2013-14. Meanwhile the EOI is expected to be published on 7 February 2014.

The Western Australian Department of Finance is looking to replace its temporary personnel services Common Use Arrangement (CUA). The CUA is mandatory for Government agencies looking to employ skilled vendors for short periods of time. It covers five categories of services including information and communication technology and has accumulated a contract value of $200 million since its inception in October 2009. Based on the estimate that ICT personnel accounted for 20% of the contracts signed, it can be inferred that around $40 million worth of ICT deals were signed through the CUA. The current CUA is due to expire November 2014 with responses to the Request for Tender (RFT) due to close on 25 February 2014.

Victorian Minister for Technology Gordon Rich-Phillips has announced a new $60 million commercial data centre to be built in Port Melbourne. Equinix will build the facility marking the companies first data centre in Victoria although it does have sites in Sydney. Construction of the site is due to begin this year with the investment expected to create 20 new jobs by the first quarter of 2015.

The Tasmanian ICT Policy Board has endorsed the proposed direction of Network Tasmania III (NTIII), the refresh of its $62 million telecommunications outsourcing arrangement, as outlined in the NT III Discussion Paper. The State’s current contract, NT II, is due to expire in May 2015. The Paper outlines that the new Network will consider a number of changes in the State’s ICT use since the establishment of NT II in 2007. This includes the increased reliance on data network services, the instalment of the National Broadband Network (NBN) and the increase in the use of third-party or cloud-based services. The Board has supported the project schedule which flags procurement to begin mid-2014 with a contract awarded in May 2015 and the transition to the network completed by May 2016.

Related Articles:

ABS set to embark on its “most significant ICT transformation in over 30 years”

Tasmania edges closer to the cloud

DSITIA’s cloudy outlook

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

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