Tassie Government IT contract has locals worried

Tassie Government IT contract has locals worried

A major tender for the provision of PCs in Tasmanian schools has drawn criticism from local companies concerned that multinational bidders are being favoured for the deal.

Sources close to the tender estimate that the Tasmanian Education Department is looking to spend around $30 million dollars on PC hardware and a new networking infrastructure as part of the State's drive to bring its education system's IT infrastructure in line with other states.

The Government issued a request for information in September last year with over thirty local and international companies replying. Earlier this year the department released a short list of seven companies. The companies are Apple, Hewlett- Packard, Avantra, IBM Global Services, Compaq, Olisys and Digital.

Peter Mink, president of the newly formed Tasmanian IT & T developers association said that a number of local suppliers submitted proposals but that the general feeling was that a bid from a local company was unlikely to succeed.

"The main criteria they have used is that they require a sole supplier," Mink said, so as to simplify issues of accountability which could potentially arise.

And it would seem that there are no suppliers in Tasmania capable of handling a deal of this size single-handedly.

Uncertain direction

But, while local industry observers acknowledge this fact, the distribution of supply and support contracts among local resellers still remains uncertain.

Paul Tremayne, network manager for Tasram, said that if a sole vendor is appointed, it is likely that existing supply channels will be used, meaning that the majority of local resellers will see little of one of the biggest IT contracts ever to go down in Tasmania.

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