Telstra's role as supplier of ICT services to the National Office for the Information Economy (NOIE) will come under increasing competitive pressure following a request for tender issued by the government department earlier this week.
NOIE is part of the federal government's Group 5 outsourcing cluster which includes the Department of Communications, IT and the Arts (DOCITA, of which NOIE is a part), the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.
The Group 5 outsourcing contract is worth more than $100 million.
Telstra Enterprise Services (formerly Advantra) was the ICT services supplier for that cluster since July 1, 1999, but will be required to re tender its ICT services.
NOIE's IT services contract with Telstra, which includes desktop maintenance, communications network management and helpdesk support, ends on June 30, 2004, a NOIE spokesman confirmed.
Issuing a request for tender for new services providers on August 18, NOIE said it was seeking expressions of interest from "qualified" organisations to provide infrastructure, information and communications technology services.
Specifically, the providers would need to "maintain all hardware and software components needed to deliver ICT services and also provide helpdesk and user support services," the agency said in its tender documents.
NOIE was also looking to "engage with a service provider" that could supply an innovative service delivery model to maximise business value that NOIE users would get from the ICT environment provided.
A Telstra spokesperson said he could not confirm whether the national carrier would respond to NOIE's new ICT services tender due to "probity issues".
"We don't tend to comment on any [tender] process itself," he said.
Meanwhile, NOIE said it did not yet have an indication of the level of interest from IT companies in the new tender.