Last Wednesday 31st January, Human Services released the second in its series of Access Card tenders. This tender covers Assess Card Issuance and Management.
The release date just met Minister Hockey’s public commitment to have the tender released by mid-late January. The agency had received criticism after the Department announced that the tender’s release could have been delayed until mid February.
Political sensitivities were raised following the Prime Minister’s recent reshuffle of his Ministerial team, with a keen eye on the coming election. The Labor Party has been vocal in its opposition to key aspects of the Access Card project. Incoming Minister Campbell would bave been placed in a difficult position if one of his first ministerial actions had to be the announcement of a delay to the project.
However, with the deadline now safely met, attention can turn to the tender itself.
The Access Card Issuance and Management tender fills an important part in the overall Access Card architecture. It covers provision of the cards themselves as well as the card management system and the security key management system.
It is important to note this is not just a tender for commodity items. The Card Management System and Key Management System will need to integrate well with other software being provided through the earlier System Integration Tender which has not yet closed. Both components will still require careful thought and coordination.
The second tender covers supply of the smartcard chips, blank card stock as well as card personalisation and issuance services.
Over a two year period, it is expected that 16.7 million people will register for a card. In order to assure supply, the tender requires that different suppliers in different locations should supply each component. For each component, there must be at least two suppliers where no one supplier provides more than 60% of the annual requirement.
The second tender closes on 14 March.