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Audit Office confirms ICT overhaul

by Justin Hendry •
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Topics: IT Services; ICT Strategy; Digital Transformation; Fed. 

The Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) has taken the next step towards replacing its 20-year-old managed infrastructure and end user support arrangement, releasing a Request for Information (RFI) in preparation for its proposed procurement later this year.  

The agency is looking to refine its IT sourcing strategy, which aims to "...deliver cost effective, high performance services through innovative contract models...", by developing its understanding of service providers and solutions. 

It will do this through a mutual discovery process where "the ANAO can gain information and insights about providers in the market and providers can gain information and insights about the ANAO’s business and IT needs". 

Suppliers are also invited to workshop the various "technical, operational, implementation, commercial, legal, pricing and strategic related matters" with the ANAO. 

The ANAO began considering its future outsourcing arrangements in April 2016, when it approached the market for a consultant to review its IT services landscape. It selected Aquitaine Consulting shortly after to complete the assessment, and told Intermedium in August 2016 that it intended to approach the market via tender in 2017. 

Unisys is currently responsible for managing, administering and maintaining the business as usual aspects of ANAO’s IT environment, under a nine-year managed infrastructure and end user support services contract worth $20.7 million. 

The contract forms part of a wider IT services outsourcing arrangement – one of the longest-running across the Federal Government – that dates back to the 1997 Whole-of-Government Information Technology Outsourcing Initiative, and has been extended five times over the 20-year period. 

Intermedium estimates the total value of the arrangement at $39.9 million, or an average of $1.9 million per year over 21 years, when it expires in 2018.  

The ANAO has already indicated its intention to build the capabilities of its IT systems, including ensuring data analytics becomes core to delivery, to support effective assessments of Federal Government agencies.  

Shifting from "on-premises infrastructure to purchasing secure, shared, cloud-based infrastructure for hosting of ANAO applications" is one of the options currently being considered by the agency, according to the RFI. 

In transitioning to the cloud the agency hopes to reduce the cost of PROTECTED hosting, however, none of the cloud providers on the government’s Certified Cloud Services List (CCSL) are currently certified at a PROTECTED-level

According to the RFI, the expansion of Software as a Service, including Financial Management Information Systems, SharePoint, Audit Management Software and an Electronic Document and Records Management System, is "pending the appropriate security classification certifications..." 

As well as having responsibility for SaaS and Infrastructure as a Service, the new managed services provider will also have responsibility for: 

  • Workplace as a Service and mobility services to allow personnel to work remotely and in real-time; 

  • desktop support; 

  • cybersecurity compliance; and 

  • coordinating all vendors and support. 

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