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GSAS Announcements Catch The Industry Unaware

by Staff Writers •
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The NSW State Contracts Control Board (SCCB) has given the Department of Commerce the go ahead to negotiate with only three of the current Government Selected Application System (GSAS) Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) suppliers for new software licences following an independent review. The review covered corporate applications ‘that best met the future business requirements of NSW Government in relation to Finance, Payroll and Human Resources’.

In a typically low key approach, the NSW Department of Commerce GCIO website posted this news on 30 July 2007. It caught the industry by surprise and left a number of aspirant suppliers out of the process altogether. Alternative suppliers are now likely to be locked out until at least 2012, because the new ERP contracts will be for a period of up to 5 years. This is millennia in ICT terms.

The three suppliers are Oracle, SAP and Mincom. As part of the GSAS renewal process, they have been asked how they can improve the return on the investment that the NSW Government already has in ERP systems. They have also been asked how they can assist in the:

  • development of centres of excellence
  • training of Government employees
  • development of a NSW Government standard ERP template

Once their responses are evaluated, a Request for Proposal (RFP) will be issued to them. The current GSAS contracts have been extended until 31 December 2007, presumably to allow time for this process to be finalised.

It is understood that a whole-of-government price will be negotiated.

Maintenance agreements will be negotiated with the software suppliers previously on the GSAS ERP panels - Frontier Software (Chris); Systems Union (SUN); and Spherion (Aurion) - who will not be included in the new arrangements.

Oracle, SAP and Mincom were ‘judged to best meet the current and future needs of NSW Government agencies. The decision also ‘conforms to the objective of consolidating the number of corporate applications’.

The GSAS 2007 arrangements will apply to all general government sector agencies. While State Owned Corporations will be ‘encouraged to participate in this process in order to realise the benefits of the GSAS 2007 project’, they are not covered by the requirements.

GSAS is a series of NSW Government contracts for the provision of software systems for:

  • Human Resource & Payroll Management Systems (HRMS) including personnel management, time management, payroll and occupational health & safety
  • Financial Management Systems (FMS) including general ledger, accounts receivable, inventory management, bank reconciliation/cash book, accounts payable, project costing and purchasing
  • Records and Information Management Systems (RIMS), and
  • Integrated Management Systems (IMS)

At the launch of the NSW ICT Strategic Plan, then Government CIO, Paul Edgecumbe stated that part of the Plan’s approach would be to ‘procure solutions, not software’. It was widely expected by the industry that this encouraging attitude, coupled with the widespread criticism that period panel contracts locked agencies into old technology and denied competitive solutions would lead to a demise of GSAS, rather than its continuance.

Commerce has commenced a review of RIMS and an announcement will be made later in the year. IMS will be incorporated into the GSAS RFP process.

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  • GSAS
  • NSW Commerce GCIO