CeBIT 2011: Whole-of-govt panels slashing ICT costs: AGIMO

Australian Government Information Management Office first secretary, John Sheridan, says costs of desktops, Microsoft licences, data centre leases have been slashed

Real financial gains and improvements in contract conditions are being realised as a result of the Federal Government’s eight ICT whole-of-government panel arrangements, according to the Australian Government Information Management Office (AGIMO).

At the CeBIT conference in Sydney, AGIMO’s first secretary, John Sheridan, said that with all but the Greenfields Data Centre and Internet-Based Network Connections panels having come to a conclusion material gains were now trickling through.

“What [the panels] have meant is that we have been able to get prices and arrangements for agencies which previously government wasn’t getting,” he said.

"Bringing the government’s complete buying power together has started to provide some real effects and changes.

According to Sheridan, the Microsoft Volume Sourcing Arrangement panel had led to a reduction of 25 per cent in the government’s Microsoft licensing costs, while its Data Centre Facilities Panel had led to a 30 per cent reduction in costs.

“Our PC Panel has meant we are now buying desktops at the same price — within a couple of per cent — of the same prices US enterprises buy them at and well under the Australian average price," he said.

“What we’re seeing is that because of the work government has done together — not just finance and AGIMO, but agencies working with us and seconded people — we have started to get what the government wanted to get when it announced the [procurement] polices back in March 2008.”

Of the two outstanding panels, the greenfields data centre panel was in the final stages of evaluation, while the internet-based network connections panel was are in the finals stages of contract negotiations, Sheridan said.

Commenting on the Gershon Review of government ICT, Sheridan said the review’s impact was to make productivity in government ICT “the new black”.

“Having ... 51 agencies all working together addressing just one of Sir Peter’s recommendations has saved $1 billion over four years," Sheridan said.

"We have also across government addressed six other recommendations and done 42 projects already.

The ICT reform work ... is largely completed already. What we are doing instead is addressing this new vision of productivity.

"Anyone who wants to see ICT viewed not as cost centre but as a means of enhancing service delivery, policy formulation and related matters for government has got to applaud that.”

Sheridan’s comments follow the announcement of Colliers International Project Services, Dell Australia, Dimension Data, Fujitsu Australia, Hewlett Packard and The Frame Group for AGIMO’s data centre migration panel.

Services in the panel include procurement, requirements definition, design, project management and logistics, installation, commissioning new infrastructure, decommissioning vacated data centres, and data centre metrics.

In related AGIMO news, the Department of Treasury has enlisted AGIMO’s Peter Alexander as its new CIO. Alexander will remain assistant secretary for the AGIMO's online services branch until he takes up the CIO position on 6 June.

Follow Tim Lohman on Twitter: @Tlohman

Follow Computerworld Australia on Twitter: @ComputerworldAU

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