The Department of Human Services (DHS) is rolling out a major US$387 million AUD$374 million) ICT integration project — enabling the Australian Government to more effectively deliver health, social services, child support and disability services to thousands of Australians.
This ICT integration project, led by the DHS, includes consolidating HR and finance systems, as well as datacentres.
Plans are being refined to roll out a common desktop based on Windows 7; migrate different email systems including Lotus Notes onto Microsoft’s Outlook/Exchange, and tender for a raft of new contracts.
This ICT integration brings together Medicare, Centrelink, the Child Support Agency, Australian Hearing and the Commonwealth Rehabilitation Service. It supports the Australian Government’s Service Delivery Reform program – with better access to technology and services.
Tanya Plibersek, Minister for Human Services and Social Inclusion, said Australia’s Service Delivery Reform is driven by a recognition that the way Government does business has not kept pace with community expectations or needs.
“Many of our most basic transactions remain costly, labour intensive and time consuming,” she said.
“Australians quite rightly expect the Australian Government to provide services that use modern technology — to be as convenient and accessible as services provided by banks, bookshops, airlines and hotels.”
Gary Sterrenberg, DHS’ Chief Information Officer, said technology is about empowering citizens — with access to the best available services, and supported by the right platforms.
“The emphasis is on customer service delivery, while integrating and streamlining the ICT platforms. An integration effort simply cannot go wrong, because in the end, it affects services to citizens in need.”
Phase one of this ICT integration involves consolidating data centres and supporting network architecture.
Previously, 14 separate data centres held client records that were being managed by different agencies. The plan is to rationalise these data centres into three.
So far, the DHS has moved out of its data centre in Bruce, Australian Capital Territory (ACT), and one run by telco carrier, Macquarie Telecom in NSW. It is also vacating another facility in Burwood, NSW.
By 2014, there are plans for three data centres – one in Hume, near the ACT-NSW border, and two in the southern Canberra suburb of Tuggeranong (ACT).
On the desktop front, from October to December 2011, the DHS deployed 500 desktops using a new common desktop architecture based on Windows 7 and Outlook.
By June 2012, the agency will roll out another 10,000 desktops, and by the end of the year, another 15,000 desktops.
The DHS is also reviewing its telecommunications network services. There are moves toward unified communications, and the use of multiple rather than single telco contracts.
More services will be brought in-house and replace large outsourcing deals.
Other initiatives include introducing customer relationship management (CRM) systems, offering staff a better picture of people dealing with agencies, while complying with privacy legislation.
The DHS is fast-tracking nationwide mobile communications services. It will streamline mobile and outreach programs for clients in rural and regional areas, and isolated communities.
Full story appears in next edition of FutureGov Magazine. DHS’ Gary Sterrenberg is speaking at FutureGov New Zealand, 24th May 2012 in Wellington, New Zealand http://www.futuregov.asia/events/futuregov-new-zealand-2012/
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