THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The government has introduced centralised purchasing of IT equipment in offices to keep the purchase efficient and hassle free. The new system helps department heads from taking the trouble of being extra cautious in purchasing hardware and software at a time when cyber attacks are targeting computers used in government offices.
Purchasing the right equipment through a competitive tender, updating the software, troubleshooting were the responsibilities of individual departments and were done on an ad hoc basis. Delay in updating software on time have made government offices vulnerable to recent ransomware attacks. “The departments have been making inefficient purchases. Due to lack of expertise it often overspent on these items. At the same time security aspects in terms of timely updates are often ignored.” said an officer of Kerala State IT Mission.
The government has now entrusted the responsibilities to Kerala State IT Mission (KSITM) and Keltron to make the tender evaluation, purchase and support. Keltron will purchase 15,000 desktops, 6,000 laptops, thousands of scanners and printers for various departments in the next six months. The demand came mostly from taluk offices for implementing e-office project.
The tender is likely to be finalised by mid- January. The centralised procurement system would be used for purchasing commonly used hardware items such desktop computers, laptops, printers, scanners in departments, public sector undertakings, boards, commissions, autonomous bodies. These offices need to make their requirement through a dedicated portal.
KSITM will verify and give the specifications to Keltron which not only calls for the tender but also maintain the software requirements of the departments. As per the agreement, Keltron will maintain a call centre and employ three engineers to maintain the equipment purchased in offices in district. The clause makes life easy for office heads who are often clueless about maintaining the IT infrastructure, said KSITM officer. According to him, it would help individual offices from appointing IT staff.