Tanner kicks off new ICT purchasing panels

Whole-of-government approach being implemented for telecommunications and desktops

Minister for finance and deregulation, Lindsay Tanner.

Minister for finance and deregulation, Lindsay Tanner.

The Federal Government has announced it will create whole-of-government purchasing panels and contracts for desktops and telecommunications equipment and services.

In a statement, minister for finance and deregulation, Lindsay Tanner said the decision was a reflection of the Rudd Government’s “commitment to achieving savings and efficiencies through better utilisation of aggregated buying power”.

The first of the new panels and contracts is expected by the end of this financial year. It will involve “desktop computing equipment, telecommunications invoice reconciliation services and Internet-based network connections”.

The move follows on from a year of changes as a result of the Gershon Review, which slammed the Australian Government’s use and management of ICT as weak while recommending budget cuts of up to 15 per cent and a host of other changes.

Most recently, Tanner announced a panel of data centre providers to service Federal Government agencies while they develop whole-of-government strategies as part of the Gershon Review. Polaris Data Centres, Canberra Data Centres, Fujitsu, Global Switch Property and Harbour MSP were selected.

In August it was announced the changes had created $109 million of savings in the 2009/10 financial year. Half of that figure ($54.5 million) was to be immediately available for reinvestment by Federal agencies

“The current arrangements for the procurement of desktop computing equipment and telecommunications products and services are completely devolved,” Tanner said in the statement.

“Recent scoping studies undertaken by the Rudd Government have shown that greater coordination in the purchasing of these goods and services has the potential to achieve significant savings.”

A recent tender put out by the Department of Defence to form a panel for the provision of desktop computing equipment will be available for other agencies to utilise until the whole-of-government arrangements are in place, the statement said.

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