ATO extends EDS contract

The Australian Taxation Office has extended its outsourcing agreement with EDS for a further two years.

EDS has supplied the bulk of the ATO’s Information Technology needs for the past five years under a $500 million outsourcing deal signed in June 1999. With this contract up for renewal, speculation was rife in the industry that the ATO would consider trying a new approach to IT outsourcing.

Instead, the ATO has exercised an option written into the original contract that will extend the arrangement for a further two years. However, the extension will see some changes to the relationship – EDS will take on some new responsibilities but also lose the provision of internal telephony and printing systems. These will be put to tender by the ATO before the end of the year.

Reports suggest the extension will cost the ATO as much as $200 million.

“We are delighted the ATO has chosen to extend the contract,” a spokesperson for EDS said. “They are one of our largest accounts in the region and one of our most successful case studies to show other customers. We provided for their needs during some important projects – such as the introduction of the GST and the Y2K issue.”

EDS is also helping the ATO roll out 20,000 new desktop computers.

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