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Queensland Emergency Services begin overhaul of HR/Payroll systems

by Sam Murphy •
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An as-a-service Human Resource Information System (HRIS), expected to cost in excess of $100 million is the subject of an Invitation to Offer (ITO) issued by the Queensland Public Safety Business Agency (PSBA).  The replacement of the existing HRIS was labelled “a very high risk project”, in a 2012 ICT Audit Report.

The new solution will initially serve over 13,000 employees. However, in line with the now commonly voiced policy that agencies should ‘share and reuse’, the ITO indicates that other Government organisations may be added to the HRIS Program with one of the key requirements of the system being “the ability to on-board future Government agencies joining the service, as well as the potential for transition out”.

PSBA is seeking an as-a-service Core HR/Payroll and Human Capital Management System as part of its HRIS Program. The HRIS Program includes the replacement of PBSA’s current LATTICE payroll systems and upgrade/replacement of systems including rostering, timesheet, learning management and reporting.

The newly created PSBA is responsible for all Queensland Police Service (QPS) and Fire and Emergency Services’ back-office systems. It takes over a number of its functions from the now defunct Department of Community Safety.

A spokesperson told Intermedium that not only was the replacement likely to cost $100 million but that it would take 2-2.5 years to complete after award of contract.

Although QPS is serviced by the PSBA, the Spokesperson told Intermedium that QPS would not be part of the HRIS Program as the new HRIS will only serve those agencies that were using the LATTICE system.

The current systems have been in operation since the early 1990s. The software ceased being supported by its vendor in 2009.

Queensland’s 2012 ICT Audit Report said, “These systems are currently more than five years past their replacement date and are reportedly in poor condition. These systems have a high risk of failure and are jeopardising the future operation of the department.

According to the ITO, the new systems are expected to “mitigate the risk that the payroll and other HR processes are heavily reliant on the performance of peripheral, agency-owned, unsupported systems and a host of manual processes and workarounds between systems (most of which require specialist knowledge) that are not consistent or well documented and are highly reliant on staff expertise.”

The PSBA also expects the system to rectify a number of identified problems including the old systems known errors in calculating employee leave entitlements and maintaining leave balances. The new system is also expected to improve on disaster recovery and business continuity capabilities which are severely limited due to the age of the current system.

In light of Queensland Health’s payroll debacle, the 2012 ICT Audit Report noted that the HRIS program was a “prime candidate for considering a different approach to implementation”.

The Report asserted that “The appropriate approach is for solutions to be acquired and configured without customisation – preferably as a service with business processes changed to meet the capabilities offered by the system.” PSBA appears to have embraced this recommendation, based on the ITO. 

Applications close 13 May 2014. PSBA encourages suppliers to submit collaborative offers with other vendors as a way of appropriately covering all necessary services.

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

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  • QLD
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  • Human Resource Information System (HRIS) program
  • Queensland 2012 ICT Audit Report
  • Queensland Health
  • Queensland Police Services (QPS)
  • Queensland Public Safety Business Agency (PSBA)