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Monday, 29 May 1989
Page: 2937

Senator RICHARDSON (Minister for the Arts, Sport, the Environment, Tourism and Territories)(8.15) —Before I answer those questions from Senator Bishop, I will answer a question she raised before the dinner break concerning Mr Seymour rewriting the tender documents. The difficulty is that Mr Seymour left the Department of Defence in 1984 and the documents were written in 1986. I do not think he did what Senator Bishop suggests, but if she has any further information I would be happy to have a look at it.

To return to this other question, which relates to software, the project we are discussing is about an overall computing environment; it is not specific.

Senator Bishop —Environment?

Senator RICHARDSON —I am the environment Minister, so I am getting closer to my direct influence. As such, certain types of software are obviously going to be available under the contract. That will not include some major applications software. The example of that is the one Senator Bishop raised. If she is looking at commercial packages which might be used in the supply systems project, they are in that category.

Senator Bishop —Which category is that?

Senator RICHARDSON —In the category of not being included in the original project environment. Some types of software are available under the contract but not every type. The application software Senator Bishop is referring to is in that category. A decision on the supply systems project applications software will be based on the request for tender now being evaluated.

As I am on my feet I will cover those questions of cost effectiveness which were raised earlier. That was part of the basis upon which IBM was selected. As a result of that selection, under normal circumstances the order will go to IBM if it can supply from the product list and if there is no exemption. I will not go through the exemptions again. Perhaps there is some confusion between a software purchase--

Senator Newman —Is that from the non-DESINE product list?

Senator RICHARDSON —I am talking about the DESINE product list, as far as I know.

Senator Newman —There are two IBM lists.

Senator RICHARDSON —I am reassured that we are talking only about the DESINE list. If that were not the case I would give up. In the case of what Senator Watson had to say before and what Senator Bishop is saying now, perhaps there is a confusion between the software purchase, such as that for the supply systems project, and a software listing under the DESINE contract. I think that is the main answer to what Senator Bishop is asking.