Defence's mega IT services panel quadruples in size

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Defence's mega IT services panel quadruples in size

100 suppliers join.

The Department of Defence has added 100 suppliers to its recently formed IT services buying scheme to create one of the federal government’s largest IT panels.

The long-awaited ICT provider arrangement (ICTPA) was established in July to replace Defence's huge systems integrator panel known as the now-expired applications managed service partnership agreement (AMSPA).

AMSPA had been used for the bulk of the department's system integration work since its creation in 2011, but had only consisted of five panelists: Accenture, HP, CSC, IBM and BAE.

However Defence had been looking to dismantle the panel since early 2016 to create a procurement mechanism that covered a wider scope of services and allowed “flexible” and “niche” suppliers to take part.

Core to this was becoming a smarter, more sophisticated buyer of IT services - a recommendation of the 2015 First Principles Review.

Defence initially appointed 32 suppliers to ICTPA to provide “digital service for government” across three service domains: systems integration, application services, and ICT services as defined by the Skills Framework for the Information Age (SFIA).

The panelists included a number of the department's top IT suppliers, such as Leidos, Unisys, Fujitsu, Atos, Northrop Grumman, Optus and ABB Enterprise Software, as well as all existing AMSPA panelists except BAE systems.

Big four consulting firms Deloitte, Ernst & Young and KPMG were also represented, as were new suppliers like Adactin, Exeter and the Gruden Group that were yet to conduct work with the department.

But last month – just days before the planned September expiry of AMSPA – another 100 suppliers were added to the arrangement, bringing the total number of panelists to 132.

Big names to join the revised panel include Adobe, Capgemini, Cisco, Data#3, Datacom, Dimension Data, Ethan Group, HP, Objective, PwC, and Veritec.

Indian outsourcers Wipro and HCL are also now present on the panel, while the final member of the big four consulting firms, PwC, has also joined.

The new additions puts the ICTPA up there with some of the government’s largest panels.

However it is still smaller than the 754 approved suppliers on the Digital Transformation Agency’s digital marketplace panel or the 301 suppliers on the Department of Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities’ IT services panel.

A spokesperson for Defence told iTnews the arrangement was "updated due to the final execution of deed memberships" and will now remain at 132 panelists.

"Memberships for the ICTPA have now closed. Defence has no current plans to add to or refresh the panel," the spokesperson said.

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