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Overhaul of financial systems on the horizon for AusAID

by Pallavi Singhal •
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The Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID) has commissioned a review of its financial management systems, foreshadowing a future overhaul of its key corporate ICT functions.

AusAID signed a $1.3 million contract with KPMG to conduct a review of its current financial management IT system, including relevant business processes and interlinked corporate systems, a spokesperson for the agency has confirmed. The contract came into effect in April 2012 and is due to expire by June 2013.

Whether the agency intends to replace or modernise its existing system is yet to be determined.

 “AusAID is currently considering options for the future of Financial Management and associated systems for the Agency. The work being conducted as part of the KPMG review will be included in these considerations,” said the spokesperson.

The findings of the review, to be completed by June 2013, may be used to develop a business case to apply for funding in the 2014-15 budget.

AusAID’s annual ICT expenditure has risen steadily over the past five financial years:

  • In 2011-12, it signed 327 contracts with a total value of $50.5 million;
  • In 2010-11, it signed 255 contracts with a total value of $35.1 million;
  • In 2009-10, it signed 226 contracts with a total value of $24.2 million;
  • In 2008-09, it signed 160 contracts with a total value of $20.4 million; and
  • In 2007-08, it signed 103 contracts with a total value of $12.7 million.

While the agency has displayed significant growth in ICT activity since 2007, the average value of a single AusAID ICT contract has remained steady.

The bulk of the agency’s ICT contracting is made up of relatively small deals.

The largest contract signed by AusAID in Intermedium’s records, was with Netreturn Consulting in 2009 for Phase Four of the Australian Development Gateway, at a value of $2.5 million. Other significant contracts include a $2.3 million deal with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade for use of the SATIN network. 

Correction: The original version of this story incorrectly identified a $2.1 million contract with Accenture as having been signed by AusAID when it was not. We apologise for any confusion this caused.

AusAID is also conducting ongoing maintenance to the system it uses to monitor and manage its external aid commitments.

It received $4.8 million in the 2004-05 Budget to build the AidWorks system, which supports financial and aid activity management and performance reporting. The system was implemented in stages from 2005 and has faced criticism since, with the Auditor-General stating that “its functionality has fallen short of business requirements” in his 2009-10 report.

In December 2008, approval was given to the AidWorks Redevelopment Project, with an upgrade of the aid management system due to be fully delivered by 2012.

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  • Federal
  • Software
  • Human Services
  • Accenture
  • AidWorks
  • AusAid
  • Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT)
  • KPMG
  • Netreturn Consulting