The Tasmanian Government is already planning a refresh of its $62 million telecommunications outsourcing arrangement, Networking Tasmania II (NTII), well ahead of its expiration in May 2015.
The NTII refresh joins a Budget Management System update, an overhaul of the Department of Treasury’s core revenue system, and a move towards whole-of-government approach to end-user computing on the State’s lengthy ICT to-do list, Director of the Office of eGovernment Mitchell Knevett told Intermedium.
The development of an updated whole-of-government telecommunications panel, Networking Tasmania III, was added to the Tasmanian Government ICT Strategy as a ‘Major Action’ at the most recent meeting of the ICT Policy Board, alongside other upcoming ICT projects.
Key considerations in planning the State’s future telecommunications arrangements include the impact of new technologies such as the NBN on technical requirements, the direction of public sector procurement, and how the Government intends to deliver services to agencies.
The existing NTII arrangement covers managed end-to-end wide area data networking, Internet and associated services. It is worth approximately $62 million over eight years.
Telstra is the major supplier, with a total allocated contracting share of $55 million. Aurora Energy has a share worth $4 million and iiNet, which replaced Broadband Wireless in 2012, has been allocated $280,000.
TasmaNet has been very recently added to the NTII panel for the short-term provision of data centre space to Government agencies. The two-year contract is worth approximately $300,000 and is due to expire in May 2015, with optional extensions taking the contract through to 2017.
TasmaNet’s data centre provisions will complement existing lease arrangements with Telstra and Aurora, and the Government’s own facilities.
The Tasmanian Government has also signed separate contracts with Telstra and AARNet for a Corporate Internet Service provision to the Government and Education Internet Services for Tasmania’s education sector. The seven-year deal, worth a total of $6.8 million, is due to expire in 2019.
But the small State’s big ICT agenda does not stop there.
Also on the table is the replacement of Tasmania’s ageing Budget Management System, which was developed in the early 1990s to manage the State’s financial information base and integrate agencies’ expenditure and income records. An initial business case for the project has been prepared, with a detailed business case expected to be completed in 2013-14, according to Knevett.
The Department of Treasury’s core revenue system developed in the 1990s, the Transaction Recording and Charging System (TRACS), is another ageing system due for a refresh. The Revenue Management System Replacement Project will replace TRACS with a new Client View System.
This project began in 2011-12 and the first stage is expected to be completed by July 2014, with the implementation of generic functionality covering the administration and processing of land tax, client management, billing management and property management. The full scope of the project includes further development and integration with other revenue lines.
A shift towards a whole-of-government approach to end-user computing procurement and support practices is also on the agenda, with the aim of improving efficiency through “a common approach to the provision of commodity ICT resources”, said Knevett.
“By 2017, all common commodity ICT services will be consolidated and provided as a service to agencies,” he said.
Additionally, the Tasmanian Government has been conducting ICT benchmarking across its agencies, with an initial analysis of data revealing information about overall ICT investment in the public sector, and the division of ICT expenditure on business-as-usual and transformational projects. A summary of the results may be released in the second quarter of 2013, according to Knevett.
This cluster of new projects has been added to the existing major actions identified in Tasmania’s 2011 ICT Strategy, which also includes:
- Implementing a common approach to procuring a variety of ICT services, such as data centres, email, voice services and shared ICT services;
- Developing consistent ICT Strategic Plans and an ICT Roadmap for common services; and
- Establishing a single view of patient health information and adopting eHealth services.
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