Customs renews EDS contract in $193m deal

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Australian Customs Service has refreshed an IT outsourcing agreement with EDS, extending it for a second time in a contract worth $193 million.

Australian Customs Service has refreshed an IT outsourcing agreement with EDS, extending it for a second time in a contract worth $193 million.

The 27-month renewal, until 30 June 2007, takes the total value of the contract to approximately $542 million since March 1998.

The renewal is one of two extension options Customs has accepted. The contract was initially extended for two years in early 2002, and was due to expire in March 2005.

The original five year infrastructure outsourcing deal between Customs and EDS began in 1996 as a part of the now disbanded whole-of-government outsourcing strategy, which was implemented by the then-finance minister John Fahey.

Chris Mitchell, managing director of EDS Australia, said in a statement a key focus of the EDS proposal was a reduction in IT unit costs.

Mitchell said the Australian Customs Service is EDS' longest-standing Federal Government client.

Customs is in the final stages of implementing its new cargo management platform.

The extension covers the delivery of IT infrastructure and applications management services.

EDS will continue to provide similar services, including infrastructure for mainframe and mid-range platforms to host applications, desktop support, application production support and helpdesk services.

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