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Employment the new shared services centre

by Justin Hendry •
Free resource

Topics: Shared Services; ICT Strategy; Fed.

The bulk of ICT services previously offered by the Shared Service Centre (SSC) are now provided exclusively by the Department of Employment, following the Federal Government’s decision to reform the centre in late 2016.

Under new arrangements that commenced on 1 December 2016, Employment has begun providing “ICT services previously provided under the SSC arrangement to all… previous SSC users”, including the Department of Education and Training, a spokesperson for the department told Intermedium.

However, this excludes most enterprise resource planning (ERP) services, including HR/finance management and business intelligence reporting, which have moved to the Department of Finance, as well as audio-visual services and library services, which are now provided by Education and Training.

SSC ERP services have been supported by SAP’s HANA Enterprise Cloud since December 2015, under a $5.6 million contract. It was the inaugural instance of HANA being used across the Federal Government.

The new allocation of responsibilities followed Machinery of Government changes in September 2016. Responsibility for core transactional services provided by SSC was to be moved to Finance, while most remaining services were to move to Employment, and a small number to Education and Training, according to a November 2016 audit report.  

This shift was consistent with the Shared and Common Services Program, which aims to replace back office arrangements  – starting with the consolidation of core transactional services – with a Whole-of-Government (WofG) shared services delivery model. ICT services are also planned for consolidation under a second phase of the program.

In 2017, Education and Training will also reportedly merge its digital strategy and governance branch with its digital implementation and operations branch to create a single ICT branch, according to CIO. The new ICT branch will be led by a new CIO, who the agency is currently recruiting. The new CIO will be required to work closely with Employment.

The last documented count of SSC services (from February 2016) indicates that the SSC provided single and ad-hoc ICT services to 14 agencies, including the Australian Taxation Office and the Department of Social Services. This is in addition to the full range of ICT services provided to its partner departments – Employment and Education and Training.

However, one of the agencies, the Office of the Fair Work Ombudsman, has begun exploring alternative ICT options. It recently issued a brief on the Digital Marketplace for a review of its existing ICT strategy and ICT services outsourcing options, including “advice on how a transition away from SSC to the cloud would work”.

Both Employment and Education and Training had sought to position the SSC at the forefront of the WofG shared services initiative, and proposed growing the SSC to cover 45 per cent of the Australian Public Sector over the next two to three years to achieve savings of up to $137 million for clients, according to the audit.

The full list of SSC services now provided by Employment are:

  • IT services – including client computing, application hosting, corporate applications, and communication and collaboration;
  • Recruitment support (system);
  • Learning and development systems;
  • Procurement and asset management;
  • Fleet management;
  • Property and facilities;
  • Electronic security; and
  • Information Management.

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