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Monday, 29 May 1989
Page: 2942


Senator NEWMAN(8.36) —I turn now to a question which was asked at the Estimates Committee hearing. It was question No. 117. The question was: When does Defence expect the Australian Government to issue OSI standards which will be mandatory for all agencies? The response was: Approximately the end of 1990, but how mandatory the standards will be is still to be determined. One reason for the current circulation of the draft GOSIP is to solicit reaction from the Australian information technology industry regarding its preparation to support such standards. I take particular objection to the Department choosing SAA as its computing environment. This is contrary to the requirements of the requests for tender which stated, and I quote:

DESINE is to be implemented through a range of compatible and proven hardware and software products which in total comprise a network architecture.

The Department's answer stated that it chose a contractor `with a complete proven network architecture'. Is the Minister aware that SAA is not a commercially available product and that even the first major SAA application, office vision, will not be available until early 1990? The industry and the computer press have continually reported this fact.