Information and communication technologies are vital to today’s government agencies, but the cost of ICT procurement is a sore point for Australian finance officials. According to a recent analysis of overall spending in New South Wales, ICT products alone account for over $2 billion each year, leading to several recommendations for budget cuts.
ICT Strategy Basics
ICT products are advancing at a rapid rate as governments and households struggle to keep up with the latest technologies. These constant changes make it increasingly expensive to stay on top of the latest advancements. Officials are stressing how important it is to research purchases before making a final decision. These strategies include, but are not limited to:
- Outsourcing more ICT services
- Collaborating with other agencies
- Seeking volume discounts for bulk orders
The Problem with ICT Procurement
Upon recommendation by the Commission of Audit, the ICT needs of NSW agencies were on hold while the Department of Finance and Services worked with the Public Service Commission to improve overall procurement capabilities. The technology needs of government employees, in the meantime, are not being met. The all-of-government procurement isn’t coming together fast enough to meet their immediate demands.
Split Tablet Procurement
Originally, the plans involved an open-tender procurement for long-term tablet suppliers with an initial launch of early 2013. With so many urgent ICT needs throughout the region, this isn’t a viable option.
Senior communications advisor, Frances Martin said, “We are aware that some government agencies may need to source ICT equipment in a shorter timeframe and before the all-of-government contract could be put in place.”
To satisfy the immediate needs, officials began working with trusted suppliers in a closed-tender process. The exercise was underway on October 8th and will give agencies an early shipment of tablets to satisfy present demands. The open-tender procurement is still scheduled for early next year and will meet the ongoing needs of the government sector. Interested suppliers could register by October 26th for consideration in this procurement.