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Thursday, 26 March 1987
Page: 1655

Madam SPEAKER —Order! It being 10.15 p.m., I propose the question:

That the House do now adjourn.

I wish to inform the House about progress made in information systems developments for the new Parliament House. For some time, the Department of the House of Representatives has been participating, with the other parliamentary departments, in the evaluation of tenders for the new Parliament House information systems.

The selection process has been divided into two distinct stages. The first stage involved the identification of preferred suppliers from among the numerous organisations which have tendered for the business. The second stage will involve the testing of solutions proposed by preferred tenderers in a final evaluation trial which will last some months and will be conducted using a network similar to that in the new Parliament House which has been installed in the East Block Parliamentary Annex. A pilot group of senators has been invited to participate in the final evaluation trial. I intend to invite a representative group of members to also participate in the trial.

Contracts will be entered into following this evaluation and only when the preferred tenderers have proven that they are able to meet the requirements of the Parliament. I can now inform the House that at this stage the preferred tenderers are the Australian owned and controlled companies Computer Power, as prime contractor, and Computer Corporation of Australia, together with the Australian subsidiary of Digital Equipment Corporation. Preferred tenderers have been identified by an evaluation committee comprising representatives of each parliamentary department. The solutions proposed are likely to have applications in each parliamentary department, and their implementation will ensure compatibility. This will allow members and senators and other users ready access to all information systems services through the one terminal. Furthermore, substantial savings in support costs should be achievable from such standardisation in equipment and software.

It should be noted that some categories of equipment and services cannot be fully assessed until they are connected to the evaluation trial network in East Block. As a result of such assessments, suppliers in addition to those that I have mentioned may be selected. I shall keep members informed of progress in the selection process.