Vic government invites private sector to replace CenITex

CenITex to become broker of services rather than direct ICT provider

Technology minister Gordon Rich-Phillips flies the Vic government toward the cloud. Credit: www.rich-phillips.com.au

Technology minister Gordon Rich-Phillips flies the Vic government toward the cloud. Credit: www.rich-phillips.com.au

The Victorian government has requested ICT services from the private sector to replace its internal provider CenITex.

The state’s Coalition government asked for expressions of interest for storage, processing, network management, service desk and desktop and end user services. The services are currently provided directly through government-owned CenITex, which is set to become a broker of services rather than the direct provider.

“We are looking to the private sector to deliver more efficient and effective ICT services for government,” said Victorian technology minister, Gordon Rich-Phillips.

“New opportunities have emerged in the market, including cloud and cloud-based services. These services offer potentially more cost effective and responsive ways of delivery than can be provided by an internal service provider.”

A CenITex presentation that surfaced online in May explained that the agency’s current operating model was under pressure from supply side forces such as new capabilities around cloud, and demand side forces such as utility ICT models that challenge the agency’s cost structures. Budgetary constraints and pricing and cost transparency problems had also caused problems.

Last year, CenITex was the subject of the Victorian Ombudsman’s report after the ombudsman heard allegations of improper conduct. Following the investigation, CenITex closed its Efficient Technology Services (ETS) division and cut 200 staff.

The shift in ICT procurement follows the Coalition government’s release of a state ICT strategy that the government expects to result in a 15 per cent cost reduction in the state’s annual $1.5 billion technology spend by the end of 2014.

Grantly Mailes, who is leading implementation of the strategy, said in a recent interview that the plan’s focus is on “service delivery and the productivity of the public service.”

“We are looking to cloud and similar services, and we are also looking to much more sharing of resources,” he said.

The call for expressions of interest closes 10 October.

Follow Adam Bender on Twitter: @WatchAdam

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