Feds award $300m less in ICT product contracts

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Feds award $300m less in ICT product contracts
The story of 2011-12: less contracts for servers, more for software and comms devices.

Software, comms devices contracts can't stem server tide.

The Federal Government awarded $300 million less in ICT contracts over the past financial year, bringing its spending back in line with 2009-10 levels.

An analysis of contracts posted to AusTender by consultancy Protiviti (pdf) found the Government had not maintained an increase in contract spending on ICT products.

The value of reported contracts for ICT hardware and software fell from $2.9 billion in 2010-11 to $2.6 billion in 2011-12. In 2009-10, contract values totalled $2.5 billion.

After what appeared to be a major server refresh in 2010-11, with $778 million in contracts awarded, server contracts crashed to $96 million in 2011-12.

Software was a bright spot, with the total value of awarded contracts rising from $639 million in 2010-11 to $948 million in 2011-12.

Big money was also spent on communications devices and accessories. Total contract value year-on-year rose from $212 million to $638 million.

Telephony equipment spending also rose from $13 million to $65 million in the space of a year, though spending on data voice and multimedia network equipment stagnated.

Contracts for IT services — which are listed in a broader category of 'engineering, research and technology services' — fell $300 million in value year-on-year, again broadly in line with 2009-10 results. The value of technology services contracts was not broken out.

The report looks at contracts worth at least $10,000 awarded to third-party suppliers. It does not take into account "inter-agency transactions" where one agency supplies another products or services.

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