Commander disputes SA contract under review

Commander disputes SA contract under review

ASX-listed integrator insists its business as usual in SA

Commander has rejected reports its technology contracts with the South Australian Government are in jeopardy and claims it is business as usual in that state.

An article published in the Australian Financial Review (AFR) on March 26 reported the state's acting director of ICT strategic sourcing, Rick Seaman, advised agencies to "postpone all purchasing activity" relating to Commander's three main contracts with SA Government: Client Computing, Distributed Computing Support Services and Microsoft Large Account Reseller.

The AFR claims the information was derived from a letter it sighted and sent to most senior state technology staffers at the end of January.

In a statement to the ASX, Commander's management denied South Australian Government buyers had been told to hold off buying from the integrator indefinitely and stressed it continued to have extensive commercial relationships with the state.

Commander CEO/managing director, Amanda Lacaze, confirmed the contracts had been on hold for a short period during the integrator's restructuring process at the end of January, but said all were now back on track.

"The contracts were on hold for a very short period of time - I visited the South Australian Government, as well as a number of our larger key customers, to ensure they understood our strategy and if there was going to be any impact on them. But with the larger customers it was always business as usual," she said.

In its ASX statement, Commander said the SA Government stated that it had met with its managing director/CEO to determine the company's intentions and capabilities on February 19. Following this, the SA Government sent out a notification reiterating Commander's commitment to supplying desktop PCs to the state and pointing out the integrator had invested in additional resources to support its client computing contract with the state.

The SA Government also advised agencies on March 20 that Commander would continue to provide services as the state's Microsoft LAR following due diligence conducted by the state and Microsoft, Lacaze said.

The latest news comes just weeks after Commander reported a $245m loss for the half-year to December 31. During a presentation to investors, Lacaze stressed the results did not reflect the company's turnaround plan, which was introduced in January.

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