Capgemini and Accenture are both in final-stage negotiations to provide systems integration services for the next stage of the government’s huge Welfare Payment Infrastructure Transformation (WPIT) program.
The government moved to overhaul its ageing Centrelink payments system last year, launching a multi-year project that is slated to cost upwards of $1 billion.
“The new welfare payment system is a once-in-a-generation investment, which will transform the way the department delivers payments and services to millions of Australians each year,” said then Human Services Minister, Marise Payne, at the time.
On 31 October, Minister for Human Services, Alan Tudge, revealed that the role of the lead systems integrator for the project had boiled down to a choice between Capgemini and Accenture.
The selected systems integrator will work with the core software vendor to deliver the transformed payment system.
In June, the government identified SAP as its preferred core software vendor for the project, with Tudge at he time revealing that the government was conducting ongoing discussions with the software giant.
According to Tudge, both short-listed companies, Capgemini and Accenture, will work closely with the Department of Human Services in a ‘try, before you buy’ scenario.
"This progressive approach to procurement is very much reflective of the transformative principles underpinning this reform,” said Tudge in a statement.
Following the assessment process, the second-placed firm will have the chance to form part of the panel, and be in a position to offer integration, data migration, and other services over the life of the project, along with a small number of other top-ranked firms.
Procurement for a systems integrator panel began in August, with the companies included on the panel set to compete to deliver the next package of work that is due to be released as part of the project over the next few weeks.
“The WPIT program will transform the way we provide services to Australians and will replace Centrelink’s aging IT systems,” said Tudge.
“The program will produce an IT system capable of meeting the needs of the twenty-first century, with digitised claiming, simpler processes and improved information sharing.
According to Tudge, the project will be delivered over a number of tranches, with tranche one very close to completion. Tranche Two of the WPIT program is scheduled to commence next year.
The latest announcement comes just weeks after the Department of Health revealed plans to replace the ageing IT system it uses to deliver Medicare payments to Australians.
On 19 October, the government commenced a process to identify solutions for the new proposed payments system, which is set to be based on existing commercial technology.
The proposed system will support the Australian government continuing to own, operate, and deliver Medicare, PBS [Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme], aged care, and related veterans payments into the future.