Services top Federal Government procurement list

Services top Federal Government procurement list

A new report into the Federal Government's procurement plans has highlighted industry opportunities in IT services, software and telecommunications during the next financial year.

Under the Australia/US Free Trade Agreement, Federal Government agencies are now required to issue a 12-month procurement plan.

A total of 118 agencies, including the Department of Defence and the Australian Taxation Office (ATO), have now published maps of their proposed procurement. Intermedium director, Judy Hurditch, whose organisations analysed the plans, said these would give the industry forewarning of upcoming opportunities in the public sector.

"It is the first time the industry has had an insight into the nature of what agencies are planning to procure," she said. "Vendors participating in the Federal Government market have not had access to that before."

To help vendors and the channel wade through the procurement plans, Intermedium has compiled a report on the specific ICT needs of the agencies.

According to its findings, 500 ICT procurements had been listed for the next year.

IT services accounted for 211, or almost half, of opportunities in the next year. This was followed by software, with 101 planned procurements. "In one sense it's not a surprise that IT services are more predominant as they're not a commodity," Hurditch said. "With systems integration, many of these are unique enough that you need to go to the open market."

She pointed to strategic consulting opportunities with the ATO to Web-enable its backend systems as an example of IT services being sought after. Another hotspot technology was managed telecommunications services.

By comparison, hardware could be bought from an existing panel of suppliers or via a prior arrangement, she said.

Although agencies had the right to alter, delete or add to the procurement list, Hurditch said the documents were a good guideline on what the government would be looking to buy over the next year. But she warned industry players needed to get in early in order to seize the opportunities.

"The first quarter is the peak time for procurement as the budget has been finalised," she said. "Six procurements are already under tender. People have to act quickly to get going."

Federal Government Planned ICT Procurements FY2005/2006

Category Quarter 1 Quarter 2 Quarter 3 Quarter 4
Hardware 45 32 19 19
IT Services

124 44 30 13
Large Office Machines 9 3 6 1
Software 52 19 19 11
Telecommunications 35 17 19 10

Source: Intermedium

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