A report by the Audit Office of NSW on Transport and Ports has revealed that there has been a $230 million increase in the estimated cost of the OPAL smart card project. The increase has been attributed to a change in the scope of the project which will now see the cards also rolled out on the Light Rail Network. The new project cost is around $500 million, up from the original cost estimate of $273 million. The project is due to be complete by 2017.
The NSW Government officially opened its second Metronode-owned data centre in Unanderra on 6 December 2013, following the opening of the Silverwater data centre in August 2013. The Government will consolidate 130 ageing data centres into the two purpose-built facilities. The two centres hold over $200 million worth of Government-owned ICT equipment. “For many agencies using the new data centres, electricity costs will be halved, and they will benefit from increased levels of security and connectivity,” said Minister for Finance and Services, Andrew Constance. The Government has signed a 10-year lease agreement worth around $182 million for the two facilities.
The NSW Government has issued a direction that makes it mandatory for the principal department of each public sector cluster to publish a Strategic Procurement Outlook Statement and Procurement Contact Information on the eTendering website. From March 2014, departments will be obliged to publish major strategic initiatives where procurements may arise over the next three years. If the principal department’s procurement plan does not cover all cluster agencies, the excluded agencies are responsible for publishing separate plans of their own.
Victoria Police’s annual procurement plan for 2013-14 outlines its intention to approach the market for a number of ICT services in early 2014, including a major event management application and an external email filtering managed service. All government agencies subject to Victorian Government Purchasing Board (VGPB) policy are required to begin publishing procurement plans in accordance with the Board’s new supply policy framework.
The Australian Federal Police (AFP) has issued a Request for Tender (RFT) for an Electronic Infringement System. The AFP is looking to replace and upgrade the existing computerised Traffic, Parking, Criminal and Traffic Caution infringement system to introduce electronic infringement notices and follow up capability in the ACT. The AFP expects that 100 hand-held devices will need to be replaced as part of the upgrade, according to tender documents. The RFT also includes all software and hardware components of the existing system, as well as maintenance and support services. Submissions close on 17 January 2014 with the contract expected to be awarded by March 2014. NSW Police is also moving towards issuing infringement notices electronically, with a proof-of-concept trial in September 2013 preceding a wider-scale trial.
Applications have opened for the Victorian Government’s $12 million Technology Innovation Fund, which aims to provide assistance to Government agencies, councils, industry and community organisations undertaking technology trials for projects relating to improved government service delivery. “The Fund seeks to support projects that are implemented in accordance with the principles of the ICT Strategy,” said Minister for Technology, Gordon Rich-Phillips. “The Fund will enable improved ICT decision-making and capability building in government by supporting innovative pilot projects and technology trials.” It will be administered by Department of State Development, Business and Innovation, and applications will remain open all year round.
The Department of Human Services (DHS) is planning to cut 56 IT jobs in Hobart in a bid to consolidate its IT operations into three hubs in Adelaide, Brisbane and Canberra, reports IT News. According to proposal documents the restructure will affect application development teams working on the Income Support Integrated System (ISIS) and the Cuba Child Support System, both of which are due for urgent refreshes. A spokesperson told IT News that the affected staff would be offered redeployment to other roles.
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