The NSW government has moved to the second phase of creating a new delivery model for back office support in various government agencies, which are now provided by ServiceFirst.
The government has called on parties from the shared services community, that registered interest in March, to provide detailed proposals within five weeks.
ServiceFirst combines 350 staff servicing 46 clients and about 7500 people.
Recently appointed finance and services minister, Dominic Perrottet, said, following the successful registration of interest phase in March, the government was now going back to applicants and asking them for more detail.
“There were over 50 parties who expressed their interest as part of the ROI phase, and after thorough assessment of the responses we are now inviting suitable applicants to submit their plans through a formal Request for Proposal [RFP] phase," he said.
“We want to make sure that we get this process right.
Responses to the return of investment will be assessed against a number of criteria to reach a subset of vendors that could potentially provide services to government.
The process is expected to be completed by late 2014.
Outsourcing the in-house service delivery functions of ServiceFirst was a key recommendation of Kerry Schott’s commission of audit in August 2012.
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ServiceFirst currently provide a range of services across the government sector including end-to-end transactional services, human resources, ICT, analysis, financial reporting and compliance services.
The changes mirror the Victorian government’s CenITex into an ‘enabler’ of services that are market-sourced, rather than a hands on service provider.
Perrottet said organisation would be given five weeks to refine their plans and lodge a detailed application.
“There is no doubt that the services we currently receive through ServiceFirst are improving, however we are open to different delivery models if it leads to better services, reduced costs and increased productivity," she said.
“Over the coming months, we will be fully evaluating the merits of proposals received, with a final outcome expected in late 2014.
“Any decision will be made on the basis that an alternate model improves services and reduces operating costs to agencies.”
Perrottet said the new sourcing arrangement was in line with the government’s broader ICT Strategy, which aims to seek better value for NSW taxpayers.
“Our strategy recognises the importance of engaging industry and working collaboratively with the private sector to achieve better outcomes,” he said.
“Recent reforms, made as part of our GovDC and ICT procurement initiatives, have meant that it is easier for businesses of all sizes to tender for and provide services to whole-of-government and individual agencies.”