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Systems integration panel announced

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The Federal Government today outlined a significant step forward for the information technology industry with the announcement of the sixteen companies to be invited to participate in the new Systems Integration Panel.

The companies are: Andersen Consulting/Navigator consortium, Aspect, BHP IT, Computer Power Group, CSA, Digital Equipment Corporation, DMR, Ferntree, Fujitsu, IBM, Paxus, PSICON, Queensland Systems Integration (QSI), Synercom, Telecom and Wang. : -

The Ministers for Industry Technology and Commerce, Senator John Button, Administrative Services, Senator Nick Bolkus, and Finance, Mr Ralph Willis, announced the panel after a thorough selection process.

The Ministers that "the panel members will be industry leaders."

Senator Button said each of the companies nominated for the panel had demonstrated a commitment to developing and improving the systems integration facets of their business.

"The establishment of the Systems Integration Panel changes the way in which the IT sector does business with Government. Each of the companies nominated has given · undertakings which contribute to the development of an

internationally competitive IT industry in Australia. That is a real step forward," he said.

Senator Bolkus said the SI - Panel was an excellent example of how- the Government could use purchasing power to elicit world class standards and practices from Australian suppliers.

"By demanding the highest standards of integrated service provision we are using our leverage with the industry to encourage world class standards on their part. The panel is expected to enhance the growth prospects of local IT companies in the domestic market and to help them enter

international markets," he said.

Mr Willis said the panel would allow the Government to focus its IT spending on more cost effective solutions while also providing significant industry development opportunities.

The Commonwealth is a multi million dollar buyer of SI services and makes. up a large part of the Australian IT market. We have to maximise opportunities for local industry while getting the best value for money for the Commonwealth,"

he . said.

The Ministers said systems integrators were in a position to manage large computing projects and develop "total solutions" to their clients information processing needs.

"They can be thought of as lead managers of a project as opposed to individual suppliers who might provide the various elements necessary in putting together a project.

"The panel consists of those companies chosen by the Government to provide systems integration services to the Commonwealth. Government projects of over $1 million which have an SI component will normally have to go through the SI Panel," they said.

Prior to listing on the panel these companies were being asked to provide details on commitments given in their tender responses including:

. provide plans for growth· in the national and international markets,

. assist industry development and provide support for local products and services,

. support Open Systems Environments and Government Open Systems Interconnection Profile (GOSIP), and

·. maintain vendor independence, in a way which is open and auditable

"The Government anticipates a number of significant benefits to agencies arising out of the panel, including ready access to systems integration skills. Agencies will also benefit from dealing with suppliers who have been prequalified.

"All panel members offer a broad range of technical skills and have undertaken to seek further specialist skills if necessary.

"Government projects awarded under the panel will be useful to panellists as reference sites when seeking work in the Asia Pacific region. .Australia has significant strengths in software, services and systems integration, and the panel is

a significant opportunity to build on these strengths

"Panellists will be required to source the best available ' products and services avoiding restrictive vendor arrangements. This commitment should provide opportunities for local companies to participate in major Government contracts for the supply of systems components and services - both as specialist systems integrators and as subcontractors.

The establishment of the panel was announced in the March 1991 Building A Competitive Australia Statement.

The panel is limited to the Commonwealth IT market for 12 months. Thereafter, its operation and the performance of the panellists will be reviewed.

Guidelines for the operation of the panel are currently being finalised.

Media enquires:

Michael Roberts Senator Button's Office (06) 277 7580

Rosemary Mullaly Senator Bolkus' Office (06) 277 7600 WK (06) 286 6306 RES

Bev Miller Mr Willis' Office (06) 277 7400