Government splits tablet procurement

Needs of individual departments at odds with all-of-government ICT procurement model

The government is again hitting challenges balancing the all-of-government direction of ICT procurement with the pressing needs of individual departments.

This conflict has led to the splitting into two of a procurement of tablet computers for government agencies.

An initial closed-tender exercise has already begun, on October 8, to established suppliers already on the all-of-government panel of "desktop/laptop and mobile voice-and-data services suppliers" says a preliminary notice of intent released by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE).

Suppliers will be asked to propose terms for supply of tablet computers to agencies with a relatively urgent need.

An open tender for longer-term tablet supply will follow early next year.

"Our original intention was to go to the market in early 2013 with an open tender," says senior communications advisor Frances Martin.

"However, we are aware that some government agencies may need to source ICT equipment in a shorter timeframe and before the all-of-government contract could be put in place.

"For that reason we decided to split the process into two, with phase one being an initial closed tender for existing providers this year and phase two being the wider tender which will take place in early 2013."

In order to be invited to respond to the open tender, suppliers are required to register their interest by Friday October 26.

Computerworld has previously reported on several cases of government agencies or clusters of agencies being forced by pressing needs to run ahead of a slowly developing all-of-government procurement plan.

These include Inland Revenue issuing a tender for suppliers of enterprise architecture services and a video-networking service procurement run jointly by NZ Trade and Enterprise and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

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