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QLD Department of Community Safety looks to external providers for ICT solutions

by Kristen Hammond •
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Queensland’s Department of Community Safety (DCS) has hinted that a move to externally source solutions to its ICT needs is on the cards.

The announcement was made at the Department’s 2011-12 Partners in Technology (PIT) Briefing on 6 May 2011. The Briefing outlined the Department’s vision for the future, including any issues and opportunities DCS may face, and listed any significant projects underway or recently approved.

During the PIT Briefing, representatives of the DCS indicated that the Department intends to transform its business from predominantly in-house to vendor provided service provision.

Given that DCS sources shared services under Queensland’s whole-of-government Shared Service Agency, it is likely these opportunities will relate to the Department’s agency-specific ICT functionalities.

According to the DCS, which has an annual ICT budget of around $30 million, its procurement strategy for 2011-12 encompasses three elements:

  1. Focusing on business improvement, not just technological development;
  2. Fostering high levels of vendor engagement and partnering; and
  3. Utilising technology to support business outcomes.

By approaching procurement in this way, the Department aims to incorporate modern technologies with social environments to improve public safety interaction and response. This will enable the agency to better respond to challenges such as ever-changing demand and tightening budgets, while also taking advantage of opportunities such as the NBN and accessible communication channels.

According to DCS’ Annual Report 2009-10, the DCS utilises an extensive range of communications equipment to support the delivery of the emergency response and dispatch service, including radio, mobile data, paging Caller Line Identification, Station Turnout and Alarm Telemetry.  These ICT requirements are subjected to an ongoing modernisation program, which operates in conjunction with other Queensland government agencies.

The Department is also highly dependent on its volunteer management information system, which stores the membership, training and equipment details of volunteers, along with vehicle records and operational statistics.

The PIT briefing listed numerous ICT projects that are currently underway at the DCS, including:

  • Mobile data terminal replacement;
  • Integrated emergency voice network;
  • Integrated offender management system;
  • Emergency vehicle pre-emption;
  • Biometrics reader trial;
  • Server replacement program;
  • Community service improvement program;
  • Disaster management portal upgrade; and
  • Major ICT asset replacement program.

ICT projects proposed or recently approved also include:

  • All hazards information management program;
  • Electronic document and records management system;
  • Windows 7/managed operational environment upgrade;
  • Asset and fleet management system; and
  • Critical server replacement project.

For suppliers to maintain a positive business relationship with DCS, the Department stated, they must respond to changing demand and engage in focused planning with stakeholders and suppliers.

Queensland’s Department of Community Safety includes Queensland Corrective Services, Queensland Ambulance Service, Queensland Fire and Rescue Services and Emergency Management Queensland, along with a Strategic Policy Division and a Corporate Support Division, which manage the Department’s ICT policy.

DCS’ operating environment currently consists of:

  • 9800 personal computers
  • 700 servers, many of which are virtualised
  • 2 linked WANs
  • Managed operating environment
  • Network platforms
  • Security, including RSA tokens, secure VPN, Trend Micro


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