The Department of Defence is on the hunt for IT providers to fill out a new procurement panel for the provision of internet services to its forces in Australia and around the world.
The Department said in a request for tender notice that it wants to enter into a new panel arrangement, with multiple agency access, for the provision of Amenities Internet Access (AIA) services to its deployed forces.
The AIA services initiative is aimed at giving Australian Defence Force (ADF) personnel access to the internet for various reasons, including personal business, banking, communications, instant messaging, Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), and other social networking services.
The panel of internet access services providers is intended to cover five regions, the Middle East, South East Asia, Australasia, Australia, and the rest of the world.
IT providers interested in pitching for inclusion on the procurement panel are required to submit a tender for a minimum of four of these regions, with the rest of the world region being optional.
The Department is searching for partners that can deliver an internet service provider, a 24/7 help desk, field service representatives, contractor-supplied and maintained terminal equipment, cabling, and software, and wireless access throughout designated areas.
The quantity of contractor-supplied consoles, as required by Defence, is set to be one per 10 ADF users deployed at any given location, with a maximum of 40 consoles, with a minimum 21-inch display, per site.
The Department’s call for IT providers to join the new internet services panel arrangement comes a month after it asked the industry for feedback over the development of a proposed IT supplier panel overhaul, replacing the expiring Applications Managed Services Partnership Arrangement (AMSPA) scheme.
In November, the Department said it could issue a potential Approach to Market (ATM) in 2017, for the establishment of the proposed panel and is seeking feedback from the industry on certain details of the proposed panel.
The Department of Defence is one the biggest spenders on IT among Federal Government entities, with the organisation’s Defence Information and Communications Technology Strategic Direction 2016-2020 outlining plans to spend $20 billion on IT over a 10-year period, as it overhauls its technology footprint from now until 2020.