Govt announces new tech procurement approach

By Dylan Bushell-Embling
Tuesday, 20 October, 2020

Govt announces new tech procurement approach

The federal government has announced a new approach to technology procurement that will prioritise the adoption of re-usable capabilities that allow multiple parts of government to solve similar problems using the same solutions.

The first new government capability that will be implemented using the new procurement strategy will be a Permissions Capability that can be re-used across government for permission-based services, such as the issuance of visas.

A re-usable Permissions Capability was one of the recommendations of the Thodey Review into the Australian Public Service.

As part of the government’s response to the review, the Department of Home Affairs and Digital Transformation Agency (DTA) was instructed to source and deliver a capability that can both underpin the modernisation of visa and citizenship service delivery within Home Affairs and can be re-used across government for similar permission-based services.

According to a request for tenders for the new capability, the deployment of a re-usable capability will be essential to the government’s ability to meet the increasing digital service delivery expectations of users of government services.

“Currently many services across government are complex, time-consuming, inconsistent and in some cases still paper based. Even where they are delivered digitally, they often mirror paper based processes and service delivery approaches,” it states.

“Designing the Capability with customers at the centre will ensure the experience for people and businesses accessing government services will be simple, clear, convenient, secure and fast.”

The new approach will also be key to addressing the growing challenge of managing ageing, siloed ICT systems across government.

“These pressures are coming to bear as a number of systems underpinning government services are reaching their end of life,” the request for tenders states.

“The government’s visa application and processing systems ... are out of date, and processing and decision making in many cases is still undertaken manually, supported by old technology and limited risk assessment capabilities.”

For the initial use case for the planned capability, Home Affairs is looking to digitise existing incoming passenger declarations — including health-related declarations and passenger contact information — to support the national COVID-19 response and contact tracing by states and territories.

Acquisition of the new capability will take place through an open approach to market and a competitive procurement process, which is expected to commence before the end of the month.

The government aims to have the new capability in operation by the third quarter of 2021.

Image credit: ©

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