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CenITex transition process set to accelerate

by Michael Read •
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CenITex’s 2012-13 Annual Report reveals that the agency’s transition to a broker of managed ICT services will increase in pace in 2013-14.

“In embracing our new role, CenITex will, in the next financial year, begin the migration from being a provider of services to being a broker and manager of services to Victorian government departments and state agencies,” says the Report.

The program “will be undertaken in a number of stages, from start-up to a transition to externally-provisioned services over the next two or three years”.

However the Report also outlined a number of new services that the agency will provide to Government agencies in 2013-14, despite plans to transition away from direct service delivery including:

  • A traveller smartphone service;
  • Secure SMS tokens; and
  • External web access management.

Current services that CenITex will continue to provide to its customers in the 2013-14 financial year include:

  • Workplace Services: Desktop services, file and print services, email and diary services, personal productivity applications, internet access services;
  • Hosting Services: Application hosting, storage and backup, restoration and data recovery; database and application management; and
  • Professional Services: Customer funded projects including project management and solution design and build.

Transition update

Until now, the transformation of CenITex to a broker of managed services been a slow-burning process.

The Victorian Government indicated its interest in restructuring CenITex in its first whole-of-government ICT strategy, stating “At the infrastructure level, Government will progressively withdraw from direct service delivery”.

Leaked slide decks from a May 2013 briefing delivered by CEO Michael Vanderheide confirmed speculation that CenITex would outsource all four service areas currently provided by the agency on a mandatory basis to the State’s agencies: desktop services, storage, network and processing.

An Expression of Interest (EOI) for the delivery of IT Infrastructure Services to Victorian Government released on 11 September 2013 revealed the full scope of the outsourcing arrangement.

The purpose of the EOI is to familiarise suppliers with the expansive range of infrastructure services currently provided by CenITex.

“The tender process represents a significant shift and is in line with the release of the Victorian Government ICT Strategy 2013-14 earlier this year. Current ICT services for many Victorian Government departments are provided directly through CenITex, whose role will eventually become that of a broker of services rather than that of direct provider,” according to a press release from Victorian Minister for Technology Gordon Rich-Phillips.

The EOI closed on 10 October 2013.

Shortlisted suppliers will be involved in the development of requirements for the final Request for Proposal, which is expected to be released on a limited basis in January 2014. Contracts are expected to commence from May next year.

CenITex 2012-13 Performance

In 2012-13, CenITex delivered $146.2 million worth of services to Government entities at a cost of $148.2 million.

It provided support services for over 34,000 desktops across Government agencies. This marked a reduction of 2,500 desktops, or 6.8 per cent of its 2011-12 load, as a result of the Sustainable Government initiative.

In addition to its support functions, CenITex finalised 498 projects worth $11.9 million in 2012-13, including:

  • Meeting the ICT requirements for the three new departments established as part of the Victorian Government’s Machinery of Government changes in April 2013
  • The deployment of Windows 7 to the Department of Planning and Community Development and the Department of Environment and Primary Industries under the One Desktop project; and
  • The ongoing deployment of the Government Identity Provisioning System (GIPS) to provide a standard lifecycle management tool of identities across the Victorian Government.

However, in a clear indication of a move towards reducing its work as the Victorian Government shared services provider, CenITex reported substantial cuts to staff and contractor numbers. The agency reduced its contract workforce to 15 contractors, down from a peak of 251 in 2011, and cut its full-time equivalent staff by 5.5 percent to 553 employees.

The agency reported a $6.9 million deficit, slightly higher than its projected figure of $6.2 million. It attributed the shortfall to the “challenging economic climate”, the Efficient Technology Services (ETS) program to standardise ICT services across the Government, and the “need to continue to build and refresh high-quality ICT networks and storage”.

Changes to the CenITex Board

Following the appointment of the former head of the Victorian Department of Treasury and Finance’s Grant Hehir as the NSW Government’s Auditor-General, Grantly Mailes has been appointed to replace him in his role as CenITex’s Chairman and sole Board member.

As part of its ongoing organisational restructure, CenITex’s official status was changed to that of a Reorganising Body under the State Owned Enterprises Act on 26 April 2012.

Following this change, the existing Board members resigned and Grant Hehir was appointed both the Chairman and sole Board member.

“These changes to the structure and governance of the organisation are designed to assist in strengthening a direct line of accountability to Government as CenITex’s future direction is refined. This is consistent with an environment of increasing fiscal constraint for both CenITex and its customers,” stated then Chairman Hehir.

According to the 2012-13 Annual Report, the Board met 11 times during the financial year.

Mailes will hold this position concurrently with his roles as Deputy Secretary of the Innovation, Services, Small Business and Technology Division within the Department of State Development, Business and Innovation, as well as Victoria’s Chief Technology Advocate (CTA), a role he has held since its inception in March 2013.


View Department of State Development, Business and Innovation profile on GovFacts >>>


Related Articles:

CenITex EOI reveals extent of outsourcing overhaul

Victorian Government looks to outsource CenITex services

ICT labour hire firms likely to feel the impact of damning CenITex Report

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