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NSW Transport shared services reform hits speed bump

by Pallavi Singhal •
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The NSW Transport cluster is facing delays in the implementation of service level agreements for its corporate and shared services reform program.

NSW Auditor-General Grant Hehir’s 2013 report on Transport and Ports has revealed that the implementation of service level agreements between Transport for NSW (TfNSW) and other cluster agencies, which was expected to be completed in June 2013, had yet to be finalised by 27 November 2013.

“Transport for NSW has advised that these are expected to be in place by the end of November 2013,” said the report.

The cluster also has yet to develop and agree upon key performance indicators for the services.

“The absence of such an agreement limits improvements to corporate services infrastructure across the transport sector, which may adversely impact better delivery of government services to the NSW community,” found the report.

TfNSW is continuing work on the establishment of its in-house provider Transport Shared Services, which will centralise the delivery of back-office corporate services across the cluster.

This is in line with the operating model outlined in the 2010 Blueprint for Corporate and Shared Services in the NSW Government, which is aimed at consolidating the provision of corporate services within 13 separate clusters comprising of NSW public sector agencies.

Clusters with over 20,000 full-time equivalent staff, including Transport, Health, Education, Human Services and Justice and Attorney General, will shift to an in-house provision of shared corporate services, according to the Blueprint. The remaining clusters will source corporate services from the NSW Government’s multi-tenanted provider ServiceFirst.

The scope of services to be provided on a cluster-wide basis includes finance, human resource, ICT, procurement, records and knowledge management, and asset management services.

TfNSW launched a five-year Corporate and Shared Services Reform Program across its cluster in January 2012, with an initial focus on “developing new governance and structural arrangements to create efficient, effective and service-oriented corporate and shared services across the Transport cluster”, according to the agency’s 2012-13 annual report.

It is currently in the process of reviewing information and technology and Transport Shared Services, with review outcomes expected in June 2014.

TfNSW has already completed capability reviews for human resource, finance, audit and risk, information and privacy, safety and quality, organisational development, and legal services, with recruitment well underway for the cluster-wide provision of these functions.

The implementation of a cluster-wide Enterprise Resource Planning system is also ongoing, following a deal in May 2013 with PriceWaterhouseCoopers for “Program Design and RFT Development” for the Transport ERP Program.

“Activity in 2012-13 focused on the business, technology and investment decisions concerning the current- and target-state ERP platforms. This was in preparation for tendering of the delivery services,” said the annual report.

TfNSW also began the process of consolidating ICT infrastructure contracts across cluster agencies in June 2013, with a request for Expressions of Interest (EOI) for Next Generation Infrastructure Services, which covers server, data centre, end-user and managed network services. It is understood that the EOI was followed by a restricted tender.

“TfNSW’s Next Generation Infrastructure Services program is a series of information technology infrastructure-related projects. They aim to provide consistency in technology sourcing processes across the Transport cluster and alignment to overall business needs,” according to the annual report.

“This includes standardising basic IT infrastructure services and consolidating outsourced infrastructure contracts and ancillary services.”

The Transport cluster’s overall implementation of its reform program is mostly on track with the timeline established in the 2010 Blueprint, which includes short-term benefit realisation activities between 2010 and 2011, followed by a longer-term “transformational” program to transition to the end state corporate and shared services model from 2011 onwards.

Related Articles:

$148 million allocation revealed for NSW Justice Cluster shared services reform

Third major NSW corporate services overhaul in motion

NSW Government’s ‘biggest reform project’: shared services gains momentum

For more information, please contact the Editor (02) 9955 9896.

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