Last year, the Federal Government signed deals worth 35 percent more than those in 2010, according to AusTender information.
Agencies spent a total of $3.157 billion in AusTender's IT category in 2011, compared with $2.335 billion the previous year.
The Department of Defence and Australian Taxation Office accounted for more than half of the total expenditure, spending $985 million and $743 million on IT deals respectively.
Meanwhile, HP won the lion's share of contracts, accounting for $801 million worth of government IT deals listed on AusTender. IBM, in second place, won $397 million worth of IT deals.
Agencies are likely to have spent yet more on IT-related activity; AusTender may have classified deals relating to training and roll-outs under "management, business professionals and administrative service" for example.
Assuming the trends from the data are comparable over time, analysis of the sourcing methods reveals that direct sourcing deals dropped from 38 percent of all deals in 2010 to 33 percent deals in 2011.
But the value of direct source deals -- under which an agency may invite a potential supplier or suppliers of its choice to make submissions without going to the open market -- actually climbed from $839 million to $1.009 billion, representing a 20 increase over deals done in 2010.
Direct sourcing may include a competitive process, for example obtaining quotes. Under Commonwealth Procurement Guidelines, deals worth more than $80,000 may only be direct sourced in limited circumstances.
The Department of Veterans Affairs (97 percent), Resources, Energy & Tourism (83 percent) and Customs and Border Protection (82 percent) had the highest rate of direct sourcing deals last year.
Across all agencies, open tenders accounted for 62 percent of all deals in 2011, up from 50 percent in 2010. The total value of open tender deals grew from $1.083 billion in 2010 to $1.862 billion, representing a 72 percent increase.
Meanwhile, agency use of select tenders dropped from 12 percent ($262 million in 2010) to five percent ($148 million in 2011). Select tenders are where an agency selects potential suppliers that are invited to submit tenders, such as from panels.
This suggests that agencies have moved away from using panels and direct sourcing arrangements in favour of open tenders.
ITnews discussed these trends with AusTender staff, who noted that how agencies classified various sourcing methods "remained an issue".
However they were unable to estimate how much these differences in methods of sourcing approximated the actual deal.
The top 25 agencies for 2011 and the extent of their direct sourcing were as follows:
Total IT deals (million)
Health & Ageing
Resources, Energy, Tourism
PM & C
The top IT suppliers to Government and their recorded deal totals were as follows:
Primary Source: AusTender reports 2010-2011
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