Victoria's first PC panel announced

Victoria's first PC panel announced

Six PC suppliers, including two Australian players, have been chosen for Victoria's first-ever whole-of-government PC and notebook equipment panel.

The list includes local system builders, Optima and Volante-owned Ipex, along with Acer, HP, Toshiba and Dell.

The centralised procurement contract will run for five years, with options to extend for a further two years. It encompasses 11 agencies, including the Victorian Department of Education and Training and Victoria Police.

Total state agency contracts are worth about $10 million per year and cover 30,000 PCs and 5000 notebooks. External agencies not bound by whole-of-government procurement will also have access to panel pricing. Combined, these contracts could be worth an additional $70 million.

As well as being the first centralised panel appointed in Victoria, the tender was also the first to call for provisions for product stewardship arrangements. In a statement, the Minister for the Environment, John Thwaites, said this decision would enable the reuse or recycling of old PCs and notebooks. Vendors would now be responsible to managing the whole lifecycle of products they provided.

The state department announced its intention to establish a centralised PC and notebook purchasing panel last year. Prior to the new arrangement, it maintained nine different PC procurement contracts.

The change is expected to save the Victorian government $20 million during the next five years.

Optima chairman and managing director, Cornel Ung, said the contract would give it immediate access to all Victorian state departments. Previously, the PC vendor had focused on the Victorian Department of Education and Training and the Department and the Department of Human Services. The new panel sees it approved to provide four desktop and notebook models.

"With agencies restricted to purchasing from the supplier list, we will have more opportunities to work with other departments," he said.

Optima would not only look to provide PC hardware, but also expand its services offerings.

To support its new position, Ung said it would appoint additional business development managers in Victoria as well as expand its services capabilities.

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