The Federal Government is calling on local IT and technology suppliers to help shape its proposed new Parliamentary Expenses Management System (PEMS).
The move comes roughly six months after Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, announced a series of reforms to the expenses system for members of parliament (MPs).
As reported by sister publication, Computerworld, speaking at a press conference in the wake of Health Minister Sussan Ley’s resignation earlier this year following an expenses scandal, Turnbull said he was proposing a transparent and accessible record of parliamentarians’ expenses.
Turnbull said the new system would be “searchable” and updated “as close to real-time” as possible.
Now, following the findings from a review of the Australian Government’s parliamentary entitlement system, the Department of Finance is set to host an industry briefing on 7 July in a bid to generate feedback from local tech players about how the new system should be designed and operate.
Broadly, the Department will be seeking industry input to assist its Ministerial and Parliamentary Services team and the Independent Parliamentary Expenses Authority (IPEA) in administering and delivering MPs’ work expenses.
Specifically, the Finance is seeking ideas and advice on how existing software-as-a-service (SaaS) cloud-based solutions would meet some or all of the 15 core system capabilities associated with the proposed expenses system.
The breadth and complexities of the core capabilities range from a client web portal, to work expense processing and COMCAR fleet and reservation management, the Government said.
“We expect that the solution will improve the speed and quality of services through a secure online portal and integration of system components,” the Australian Government CTO, John Sheridan, said in a statement.
In late 2015, the Government decided that improvements to the entitlements system were required to better support parliamentarians and meet public expectations.
In February 2016, an Independent Parliamentary Entitlements System Review made 36 recommendations aimed at simplifying the parliamentary work expenses framework.
By March 2016, the Minister for Finance announced support for all of the Review’s recommendations in principle.
The industry briefing comes as a response to one of the recommendations associated with information technology – an integrated digital system.