Multinational consulting giant Accenture has won the Department of Home Affairs contract to develop the Permissions Capability Platform, utilising the Pega Platform as its foundation.
The first deliverables will be a digital passenger declaration (the digitisation of incoming passenger cards) and a ‘a simple digital visa product to test the integration capabilities of the platform’.
This news comes eight months after the Department issued a Request for Tender seeking suppliers for an integrated, ‘enterprise-scale’ workflow capability system capable of being used across the Australian government and potentially by state and territory governments also. The Department established a taskforce, which included members from the Digital Transformation Agency (DTA) and the Department of Finance, to oversee the procurement process.
The Platform will be used initially to handle digital income passenger declarations and visa processing. This marks the second attempt by the Federal government to overhaul Australia’s legacy visa processing systems, with the previous attempt being aborted very late in the procurement process due to probity concerns.
According to a Department of Home Affairs response to Senate Estimates questioning in March 2020, the costs of the cancelled procurement were almost $100 million, including payments made to advisors such as Boston Consulting Group and KPMG ($65 million for all suppliers) with the remainder covering internal costs. These figures do not account for the costs of the final two consortia, Accenture and a company established for the bid, Australian Visa Processing.
It is envisaged that the platform’s capabilities will expand to include various government services, such as permits, accreditation, licences and registrations in the future. The DTA has been tasked with identifying further use cases candidates for the Platform.
The Permissions Capability win is the second major one in Canberra for Pega in the last year. In late December 2020 Infosys was awarded a Services Australia $37.3 million contract to build the heart of the Welfare Payments Infrastructure Transformation (WPIT) , the entitlement calculation engine, on a Pega foundation.
The Permissions Capability contract is just one of several that Accenture has won from the Australian government within the past year. This contract comes just weeks after the company was awarded a contract extension worth $57 million to continue to provide infrastructure support for the My Health Record platform for another year.