After months of negotiation Victoria Police has finally signed on the dotted line with IBM for an IT outsourcing deal worth around $110 million over five years, with options to renew for a further two years.
IBM was nominated as preferred tenderer back in June 1998, over GE Capital and CSC which were also shortlisted.
The length of negotiations was due to rigorous examination of the contract's fine detail said Michael Dixon, general manager, IBM.
The outsourcing deal covers management of Vic Police's mainframe data centre, LAN desktop, wide area network communications management, help desk and state-wide implementation of a new desktop infrastructure.
Ken Latta, executive director, corporate resources, Vic Police, said IBM may also be given an opportunity to bid for applications development work, once Victoria Police had defined the scope of its applications development needs. The contract includes upgrading IT across some 400 police stations.
However, Vic Police will keep IT strategy, planning, policy and standards in-house.
One goal of the deal is to develop a standard operating environment across the Police Force.
"Vic Police has not really got a whole-of-organisation computer system in place," said Latta, explaining that the organisation has a separate system at headquarters which is not networked across police stations, whilst police stations have disparate systems with "lots of old technology".
IBM will roll out 7000 computer devices including around 5200 desktops across the police force.
Also under the terms of the contract, IBM will supply expertise from its team of public safety and justice specialists.
The contract with IBM is part of a wider "reformation of the way [Vic Police] does business", according to Latta.
Latta said that the Force has outsourced a number of functions that did not require police trained personnel, including its traffic camera office operations and processing, and its prisoner transport operations.
Neil Comrie, chief commissioner, Victoria Police, said: "This outsourcing contract [with IBM] allows Victoria Police to focus wholly on its core business of protecting the public and fighting crime while at the same time giving IBM the responsibility for bringing major improvements and enhancements to the technology infrastructure and the way policing services are delivered.
"The strictest screening and security procedures have been incorporated into the contract so the community can be assured that all confidential data continues to be given the utmost protection and the force remains firmly in control of its information."