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Monday, 29 May 1989
Page: 2936

Senator RICHARDSON (Minister for the Arts, Sport, the Environment, Tourism and Territories)(8.05) —The basis for the project is to enable a computer system across all the various parts within Defence so that they can communicate with each other. It is a very broad objective. If we are going to meet such an objective, then obviously if we are asking for one company to do it, it must be big by nature-big it is.

Senator MacGibbon —Isn't it like buying submarines? So long as it is Swedish, we will buy it. With computers, if it is IBM we will buy it.

Senator RICHARDSON —Can we debate the submarines a little later on? I am having enough trouble with the computers before I hit the submarines. On the question of the computers, I think we have to re-emphasise that this system was put to tender, and IBM won it. There cannot be any question about the tender system. It was open, it was above board and IBM won. Since it has won, the honourable senator is now querying not only its right to have won, but also the Government's right to negotiate with it after it has won. I cannot quite understand how she gets around to doing that. It has got every right now to insist on the contract with it being met.