blog Those among us (like yours truly) who maintain an unholy fascination with public sector IT purchasing and projects in Australia will recall that three years ago, the Queensland Government — and we’re talking about then-Premier Campbell Newman here, not his Labor successors — issued a blanket ban to IBM on winning future deals with its departments and agencies. At the time, Newman justified the ban by highlighting IBM’s role in the billion-dollar failure of the Queensland Health payroll systems upgrade.
Well, it’s been quite a while since that point, and given the fact that multiple audits have placed most of the responsibility for the project’s failure on the Queensland Government and not IBM, you’d have to expect that IBM has been able to come in from the cold. It’s been our experience that most major government departments and agencies will eventually need to deal with Big Blue at some point.
However, according to iTnews, this is not the case. The outlet reported on Monday this week (we recommend you click here for the full article):
“A spokesperson for the Department of Science, IT and Innovation told iTnews the suspension “currently remains in place”.”
My opinion on this situation is that it is unlikely that the ban has resulted in IBM winning zero business at all from the Queensland Government. It is far more likely that Big Blue is being blocked from major contracts, while still picking up work on minor ones.
It is likely, after all, that IBM was already engaged with Queensland on a range of fronts when the ban was handed down. Those projects or supply arrangements will not have been cut off overnight; in fact, the nature of Government purchasing is that when structures are successfuly set up for projects or to buy goods and services, they tend to continue on regardless of the political dynamic of the day.
I would, however, be interested to hear from Queensland public sector IT workers as to what the situation on the ground is. Is IBM winning any work at all with the Queensland Government? Feel free to comment below this article, or use Delimiter’s anonymous tips form.