The Department of Defence has indicated it could explore further exemptions from whole-of-government buying arrangements, a fortnight after bypassing a mandatory data centre panel.
In response to a question about whether prime or sub-contractors to Defence’s Centralised Processing Project needed to sit on AGIMO panels, the department noted that it would seek "appropriate exemptions" where AGIMO could not provide the necessary products and services under their existing panels arrangements.
“Defence is working closely with AGIMO to determine the best solution," it said in an addendum notice.
"Defence will utilise the AGIMO ICT procurement panels where appropriate."
At least one industry insider queried Defence’s grasp of Commonwealth purchasing rules.
Defence's multi-million Centralised Processing (CP) project aimed to consolidate over 280 data centre facilities and computing hardware that cost the agency over $125 million last financial year.
Defence’s invitation to register interest ITR CIOG249/11 was the first of a two stage procurement process.
It expected to shortlist six prime bidders by the second quarter of 2012 with a single prime being appointed by the second quarter of 2013 and the rollout to be completed by 2019.