South Australia IT chief revises contract deadline

The process of retendering A$1 billion (US$733 million) worth of IT contracts by the South Australian (SA) government may not reach completion until early 2007.

The contracts are being put to competitive tender following the breakup of the state's 'big bang' outsourcing deal with EDS, which was signed back in the late 1990s.

While the government has been under pressure to have up to a dozen contracts signed by year's end, the state's chief information officer (CIO) Grantly Mailes said the focus is on "doing deals well, not quickly".

Mailes pointed out that the state's outsourcing deal with EDS didn't expire until January 2007 and the government would use this time to get good deals for taxpayers.

Put simply, he would not be pressured into a bad deal just to meet a deadline.

Since the breakup of the A$90 million-a-year EDS contract, the state's Opposition has been critical of the government for delaying new contracts.