Local suppliers knocked out of SA contract

Local suppliers knocked out of SA contract

Adelaide-based PC manufacturers have claimed they are being snubbed under the forthcoming South Australian whole-of-government PC, notebook and server panel.

Leader Computer Systems managing director, Paul Kristoris, said its OEM customer, Protech IT, was dropped from the preferred supplier list in favour of multinational vendors. The company had worked with the SA state government for the past eight years. It was one of several Australian-based suppliers currently providing PC-related equipment. Others include ASI Solutions, Volante (Ipex) and Microbits.

SA's centralised ICT equipment panel was due to be refreshed in the middle of last year. However, the state government opted to shelve the tender until the results of the March 18 state election are finalised.

Although a final announcement has not been made, Kristoris said Protech had been informed by the department by letter that it was off the list. It had also been debriefed.

It is understood the revised panel will feature a smaller band of suppliers. HP, Dell and Ipex are tipped as the preferred PC desktop providers, with Dell and Acer listed for notebooks. HP is expected to be the sole servers provider.

Kristoris was "bitterly disappointed" about the decision. "It annoys me that the bureaucrats who were involved in the evaluation process didn't take into account local considerations any economic benefits for the state," he said.

Kristoris said he had made several attempts to get back on the panel but was unsuccessful. In a meeting with the Minister for Infrastructure, Patrick Conlon, late last year, he claimed he was told the government's decision against local suppliers was based on honouring the Australian-US Free Trade Agreement, as well as interstate agreements.

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