Australia’s welfare agency Centrelink has moved into the next stage in replacing its aging ICT systems and bringing them into the 21st century.
The Department of Human Services (DHS) has chosen Capgemini and Accenture to enter final-stage negotiations to provide systems integration services for the next stage of Centrelink’s Welfare Payment Infrastructure Transformation (WPIT) Programme.
After a procurement process for a systems integrator panel that began in August 2016, these firms will compete over the next few weeks to deliver the next package of work that’s due to be released in what the government calls a “substantial, once-in-a-generation project”.
According to the DHS, the systems integrator will work with the core software vendor to deliver the transformed payment system for Centrelink.
The federal government plans for the WPIT programme to “transform” the way it provides services to Australians and will replace Centrelink’s archaic IT systems.
“The programme will produce an IT system capable of meeting the needs of the twenty-first century,” the DHS said in a release.
This new system will include digitised claiming, simpler processes and improved information sharing.
According to Minister for Human Services, Alan Tudge, each firm will work closely with the DHS in an innovative ‘try, before you buy’ scenario.
“This progressive approach to procurement is very much reflective of the transformative principles underpinning this reform,” a release from the Minister said.
Following this assessment process, the second placed firm will also be invited to form part of the panel.
They, along with a small number of other top ranking firms will be able to be drawn upon over the life of the project to help provide integration, data migration and other services to support implementation.
The DHS is ambitious in its approach to this new Programme, as it expects that the project will “change the way Australians do business with government”, by “significantly improving the user experience and ensuring the long-term sustainability of the welfare system”.
The government calls this is a “significant long term investment” that will be delivered over a number of tranches, Tranche One is very close to completion.
Tranche Two of the WPIT programme is scheduled to commence in 2017.