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Victorian Budget funds major ICT procurement initiatives

by Helen Flint •
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Whole of Government ICT Infrastructure Procurement

In this election year budget the Victorian Government has provided funding to support a revamp of ICT procurement in the State.

Victoria’s 2014-15 budget provides funding for the management of critical upcoming ICT procurement initiatives including the outsourcing of CenITex services and establishment of the VicConnect Government cloud and ICT marketplace.

The budget provides $6 million to the Department of State Development, Business and Innovation (DSDBI) to manage the CenITex transformation through which the Government is looking to outsource the ICT services currently provided by the State’s shared services provider CenITex.

An Expression of Interest (EOI) process in 2013 facilitated discussion with ICT vendors and CenITex customers which helped refine the requirements of the upcoming approach to market.

“This initiative demonstrates the Government’s commitment to improving the procurement and management of ICT in the Victorian Government in order to achieve better value for money and improved service delivery for Victorians.” Minister for Technology Gordon Rich-Phillips said.

The Government expects to issue a Request for Proposal (RFP) for the outsourced services by the end of 2014.

DSDBI is also the recipient of $9.5 million in funding over the next four years for the VicConnect project which budget papers say will “create a Government cloud – a secure private data network – and Government ICT marketplace for the existing Telecommunications Purchasing and Management Strategy”.

“The strategic aim of the VicConnect Program is to reduce the cost of telecommunications services and allow Victorian Government departments to access new, inexpensive and powerful technologies – including cloud services, mobility devices, and other ICT services – that will enhance government service delivery.”

“VicConnect will create a marketplace for technology services by providing access for multiple suppliers to government ICT spending. This will increase the choice of services available to departments, increase competition between suppliers and drive innovation and better value for money outcomes for government.” said Rich-Phillips in a statement announcing the funding last week.

The Government is looking to appoint a VicConnect Manager which will be responsible for the design, implementation and management of the platform and an RFP is expected to be issued later this year.

Other Initiatives

The budget also allocates funding for new ICT initiatives at Transport, Justice, Emergency Services, Treasury, and Human Services among others.

The Department of Transport, Planning and Local Infrastructure (DTPLI) will receive $13.4 million over three years to manage the upcoming retender of the myki public transport ticketing operating contract which expires in June 2016.

The initial myki project faced significant difficulties and experienced a major cost blowout. The Government has identified the myki retender as a High Risk Project meaning that it will be subject to more stringent oversight throughout its development including gateway reviews and approval from the Treasurer at key stages in the project.

Police and Emergency Services received funding for a number of initiatives including $13.4 million to address radio network coverage black spots across the rail network where Protective Services Officers will be deployed. There was also a $25.9 million allocation for a Police information Technology Refresh which was scheduled to be completed in 2013-14.

A further $15 million is allocated for the upgrade of critical systems to support emergency call-taking and dispatch services at the Emergency Services Telecommunications Authority (ESTA) and to plan for further improvements in emergency service delivery. The upgrade will replace an outdated 30-year-old platform, enabling voice switching across all State Emergency Communications Centres and enhanced voice recording.

“This upgrade will allow ESTA to better manage emergency call taking and dispatch for our Triple Zero service to Victorians,” said Minister for Police and Emergency Services, Kim Wells.

The budget also provides $11.6 million in new funding from 2015-16 for a Better Revenue Management System at the State Revenue Office which the budget papers say will “deliver incremental upgrades to the underlying systems architecture, improve productivity, reduce compliance costs for customers and improve data matching for compliance activities.”

The Department of Human Services will receive funding for IT as part of the Services Connect expansion, including $7.2 million over two years for Services Connect – Single Client View Stage One to develop the initial stage of a new system to provide an aggregated view of client information, including a client’s history with different services.




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