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Parliamentary Workflow Solution roll-out remains on-track despite MOG changes

by Sam Murphy •
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Work on the Parliamentary Workflow Solution (PWS) administered by the former Department of Education, Employment and Workforce Relations (DEEWR) is progressing despite the September 2013 Machinery of Government (MoG) changes arising from the election of the Coalition Government.

DEEWR, which had been responsible for the development and implementation of the solution, has been split into the Department of Education and the Department of Employment while the former Department of Finance and Deregulation (the lead client agency of the solution) got off more lightly with just a name change, becoming the Department of Finance.

In December 2013, a spokesperson from the Department of Education told Intermedium that the MoG changes had left the two new departments with a lengthy list of tasks to review.

However, a spokesperson has recently been able to inform Intermedium that the rollout remains on track.

“While there have been some changes to the implementation schedule to meet agency requirements and accommodate MoG arrangements, the PWS continues to progress in line with the agreed transition timetable.”

The spokesperson also indicated that “the same senior leadership team continues to lead the development of additional functionality and implementation”. 

According to DEEWR’s 2012-13 Annual Report, it signed a collaborative head agreement with the Department of Finance and Deregulation as the lead client agency and DEEWR as the service provider.

It also established full technical connectivity for the first four agencies: The Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities, the Australian Federal Police (AFP), the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service and the Department of Health and Ageing. Of these, all bar the AFP were themselves subject to MoG changes.

According to the Report, the four agencies had already begun implementation activities and were to adopt the solution progressively throughout 2013-14.

41 agencies are expected to be transitioned onto the system by the end of June 2016.

DEEWR was tasked with building the PWS in 2011 after its workflow solution, the Parliamentary Document Management System (PDMS), was successfully rolled out to over 6,000 staff across DEEWR, the Department of Defence, the Department of Family, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, and the Department of Innovation. In June 2013, DEEWR completed the first stage of the PWS by establishing the necessary infrastructure for its deployment.

68 percent of the original PDMS has been reused by DEEWR for the new PWS, “reducing the total cost of the delivery of the new asset”.

Over 2012-13, DEEWR has signed a number of significant contracts relating to the project including:

  • A $1.5 million deal with Infront Systems for Data Storage Equipment;
  • A $365,000 deal with Hewlett-Packard for Server Infrastructure; and
  • A $250,000 deal with the Department of Industry for an Authentication Service from VANguard which allows a single sign-on for PWS and other existing agency systems.

In May 2013, DEEWR commissioned CPT Global for a readiness for services review. It found that its “readiness to deliver the service was well advanced and functionally complete, allowing agencies to begin implementation by the required timeframe”.

The Annual Report notes, however, that the solution has not been without its share of ‘lessons learned’ over the course of the project including the varied level of business change required for agencies to successfully manage transition and the need for a flexible business case and associated funding stream.

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Get to know...Susan Monkley

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