The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) is after heavy duty devices to scan 80 million double-sided sheets in 100 working days for the Census of Population and Housing to be conducted in August 2011.
The newly-opened Request for Tender documents state, the amount of devices needed will be determined during a dress-rehearsal to be run in September 2010.
The devices also must be able to scan colour maps (the ABS expects 32,000 maps to be compiled during the Census), run for 16 hours per day and have no more than five per cent operational down time.
The ABS will provide all supporting hardware and software and services support will be supplied by IBM.
The process of the Census forms will take place at a Melbourne CBD data processing centre.
In the 2001 and 2006 Census 13 scanners with Intelligent Character Recognition (ICR) technology were used to capture data over 20 weeks.
The two-year contract has been estimated to be $1 million to $1.6 million in value and the tender closes on September 22, 2009.
The ABS will evaluate tenders against its criteria and then conduct a second technical evaluation stage in Canberra during October and November this year.