Local IT suppliers have until early April to pitch their ideas for the proposed landmark replacement of the Federal Government’s health, aged care and veterans’ payments IT system.
The Government issued a Request for Information (RFI) for the project on 6 March, seeking information on how the new system should be designed and delivered.
The RFI is aimed providing an opportunity for respondents, including small and medium enterprises, to “shape the future design of the new system,” which the Australian Government will continue to own, operate and deliver.
Responses to the RFI close on 4 April 2017, with a procurement phase for the new system expected to commence in the middle of 2017.
The Commonwealth intends to use submissions from partners to help inform the development of its requirements for the new digital payments platform and future procurement strategies.
Through the RFI, the Government is hoping to identify innovative ideas and approaches to designing and delivering the proposed platform. It also wants to gain insight into how innovation and contributions from players of varying sizes and areas of focus can be integrated into the new platform.
Additionally, the Government hopes to understand how to maximise participation in any future procurement process to ensure it makes use of information technology in as an effective way as possible, and to understand potential industry partnering opportunities, and pin down the indicative costs associated with different approaches.
It also intends to use the RFI submissions to understand possible the implementation timing and milestones, including how demonstrated progress could be achieved by early 2019, and pin down how the transition might be managed.
The call for supplier feedback comes five months after the Government flagged its decision to go ahead with replacing the 30-year-old IT system it uses to deliver health, aged care and veterans’ payments.
The move came after the government previously flagged a proposal to privatise the processes undertaken by the existing system – a plan that was initially met by substantial opposition.
Each year the Government makes more than 600 million payments worth approximately $50 billion through the IT systems in support of health and aged care services.
When complete, the new system will remain under the Government’s ownership and operation operate, and will deliver Medicare, the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme, aged care and related veterans’ payments.
The Federal Government revealed in December that it plans to spend $31.5 million during 2016-17 in a bid to kick-start its efforts to overhaul the payments IT system.
The call for partner feedback comes as the Government praises its own progress on the landmark upgrade of its welfare payments IT system – a multi-year project that is expected to cost more than $1 billion.
The so-called Welfare Payment Infrastructure Transformation (WPIT) program is aimed to progressively replace Centrelink’s ageing technology platform.
According to Australia’s Minister for Human Services, Alan Tudge, the first stage of the WPIT program has seen improvements to the Youth Allowance and Austudy claims process cut processing time by almost half.
“WPIT is the most significant transformation to the way we process and distribute welfare payments in 30 years. It is pleasing to see these tangible results, saving time and money,” Tudge said in a statement.
In early November, IBM and Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) joined Capgemini and Accenture on the panel of service providers taking part in the project, with the Department of Human Services (DHS) saying at the time that the two additional entries will be among those the government can call upon for systems integration work for the project.