A Federal Government department has denied a local IT equipment broker's claims that it reneged on a deal to resell computer equipment for which it has no further use.
Documents obtained by ARN's sister publication ComputerWorld, however, appear to fly in the face of this denial and seem to prove a claim made by an industry source that the department's backflip has affected his professional reputation and resulted in the filing of several law suits.
The source, who requested anonymity, claims the Department of Employment, Education, Training and Youth Affairs (DEETYA) engaged its IT benefactor, IBM Global Services Australia (IBM GSA), to offload the equipment on its behalf, but baulked when it came time to actually deliver the product.
When the Commonwealth Employment Service (CES) and Department of Social Security (DSS) were disbanded and brought together under the Centrelink umbrella earlier this year, DEETYA was left with surplus computer equipment.
As a local IT equipment broker, the source said he successfully brokered a deal to resell the equipment on behalf of a local IT auctioneer - which allegedly scored the DEETYA contract - then he in turn approached several US organisations with offers to buy the equipment.
After contracts with the US organisations were signed, the source claims, he went back to the department with a request that the equipment be made available, but was told the Government agency had pulled out of the deal.
"Basically, DEETYA went out to see if they could sell the equipment and put it on the market and, people thinking it was available, made bids for it," the source said. "I think DEETYA is mucking around and being very unprofessional with tax payers' money. It is still sitting on those 250 Cisco routers and 250 IBM H2 38 hubs and I want to know why. Why doesn't it just bite the bullet and get rid of them?"
A DEETYA spokesman denied the department had ever intended to actually sell the equipment and claims it merely wanted IBM GSA to "test the market" for possible future sales.
However, documents signed by a senior IBM GSA executive go on to say: "[DEETYA] sought from several companies expressions of interest and bids for a list of equipment which DEETYA is asking IBM GSA to sell on its behalf."