In a move that may be driven, at least in part, by the anticipation of ongoing severe cost cutting pressures, the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has issued a Request for Tender (RFT) for the establishment of an Infrastructure Support Services- Multi Vendor Environment panel to assist its Services Operation Branch in managing complex IT projects.
Tender documents state that the chosen panellists will be required to assist current in-house service providers with a range of “projects and processes being designed and implemented to move towards the mature multi-vendor environment.”
The ATO is pushing for internal and external stakeholders to work together on projects for better business outcome in this multi-vendor environment.
It’s a move that could therefore be seen as a compliance with the Efficiency Dividend which is set to be raised from 1.25 percent to 2.25 percent only a year after it was lowered from 4 percent in 2011-12.
The panel arrangement will see many of the current in-house ‘above the line services’ run by the Services Operation Branch outsourced to suppliers with business consulting capabilities.
Panellists will be required to deliver:
- Strategic design and planning;
- Implementation of IT sourcing programs;
- Development of service management process interfaces; and
- Planning visualisations in key strategic documentation.
The objective is to streamline procurement processes and achieve value for money through chosen panellists efficiently managing service providers and producing clear documentation that lays out a “sequence of logical and clear procedural steps” for providers.
Panellists are expected to work with other ATO service providers to achieve the Office’s current business requirements while also producing strategy developments and reviews for complex IT projects.
Panellists will be required to set out individual ICT benchmarking for measuring advice and recommendations in the creation and deployment of new technology. They will also be expected to produce business planning and technology portfolio planning along with their implementation and support.
According to Intermedium’s AnalyseIT, Federal Government agencies spent more than $140 million on business consulting in 2012-13, of which the ATO spent $7.6 million. Capgemini, IBM and Accenture were the top three business consulting suppliers to the ATO in that year.
The ATO will consider individual suppliers as well as group tenders should they consist of individual legal entities, potentially opening the field up to other contenders, who have used such groupings successfully in agencies such as the Department of Human Services and the Department of Defence.
Applicants are expected to have previous experience and knowledge of multi-vendor and complex IT environments. Successful delivery of recent projects similar to the ATO’s requirements should also be demonstrated.
Applications close on 16 September with the evaluation process to be completed on 11 October. Contracts are due to commence by 25 October.
This the second RFT in recent weeks from the ATO seeking external support for its ICT management.
On 13 August the ATO released an RFT for a Diagnostic Review of Application Testing Capability seeking a contractor to conduct “SWOT-style reviews of in-house provisioned application testing” over a period of three months with the possibility of up to six months extension.
According to tender documents “the Contractor will conduct an assessment of the ATO’s existing application testing service, provide actionable recommendations and model the improvements necessary to enhance overall efficiency and effectiveness.” Submissions close on 6 September.