Media Release: Digital transformation to enhance welfare payment system

1 August 2016

The Hon Alan Tudge MP

Minister for Human Services

The Australian Government is embarking on one of the most significant digital transformations in its history to streamline and speed up the processing of welfare payments.

The Government has today taken the next step in the selection of the principal commercial partners that will support the Welfare Payment Infrastructure Transformation (WPIT) Programme. A Request for Tender seeking experienced systems integrators is now live.

Minister for Human Services Alan Tudge said the Government would work with a commercial partner, but would keep full ownership of the project.

The WPIT Programme is transforming the way services are delivered to the community, it is not changing who is responsible for delivering them.

“This is a once-in-a-generation project that will transform Government service delivery to meet the challenges of the digital age,” Minister Tudge said.

“The system is one of the largest and most complex in the world, delivering more than $110 billion of payments to over four million households, through more than 100 million transactions each year.

“Australians use digital technology in every aspect of their lives, using apps and websites to do everything from online banking to grocery shopping.

“The expectation is that Government will keep pace with these changes, and that’s precisely what the WPIT programme will deliver.

“Our new programme will streamline the payments system to ensure processing is efficient and timely.

“The digital transformation will also ensure Government systems are well linked, for example allowing a simple cross check between Centrelink and ATO data, which will also speed up processing.

“The WPIT programme makes Australia the world leader when it comes to innovation in the delivery of income support. No other nation is investing in circumstance driven management, risk based management, or flexible modern payment systems as we are. That’s why we’re looking for the world’s best to partner with us on this programme.”

Procurement commenced in September 2015 seeking expressions of interest from Core Software Vendors to deliver an innovative, integrated technology platform capable of meeting the department’s future needs. That tender process has identified SAP as the preferred Core Software Vendor, subject to further discussions on commercial matters–including value for money.

The latest tender will establish a small panel of systems integrators, with each firm having the capability, capacity and experience to support the department’s objectives, which will provide flexibility to procure services over the life of the programme.

“This is a unique opportunity to form strategic partnerships with industry to develop pioneering technology and services to transform the way Australians interact with the welfare system,” Minister Tudge said.

“The aim is to address the complexities in payments and services that delivers significant improvements for Australians and the best value for money for taxpayers.”

The panel of commercial partners are due to be selected before the department seeks government funding for Tranche Two of the WPIT programme. $60.5 million net expenditure, over four years, was allocated to progress Tranche One in 2015–16.

The phased approach, using tranches, is based on industry best-practice and provides the flexibility to review progress, adapt to emerging technology, and work through challenges as they arise.

The systems integrator request for tender closes 26 August 2016.

More information is available at: https://www.tenders.gov.au/?event=public.atm.show&ATMUUID=9EB40EE2-ADF1-57E9-A4274FB3421586FA