ATO kicks off multi-year managed services transformation

The organisation is hoping to approach the market from June for products and services under the three categories of centralised computing, end user technology, and enterprise service management.
Written by Asha Barbaschow, Contributor

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) is embarking on a multi-year transformation program, looking to reshape how services are brought into the organisation.

The IT strategic sourcing program will cover three managed services, plus ancillary services: Centralised computing, end user technology, and enterprise service management centre. The ATO said it will soon approach the market to kick these off, with plans to issue one or more requests for information (RFIs) in June 2021.

A "progressive approach to market" is pencilled in for 2022 and contract execution, transition, and service transformation are set for 2023.

The RFIs will seek "strategic dialogue" with the market to inform bundle structure, scope, commercials, pricing approaches, and procurement strategy, with a "focus on what the IT ecosystem will look like from 2023".  

The ATO is the government's principal revenue collection agency, but as one of the federal government's bigger IT shops, it also supports the delivery of community benefits, with roles in private health insurance, family assistance, and cross-agency support.

See also: Australian government's major IT shops to help others with cybersecurity

ATO chief information officer Ramez Katf said the program is aimed at modernising the agency's IT outsourcing portfolio by "developing market-aligned and more flexible bundles".

"This is a reshape of how we get these services into the organisation. The technology ecosystem continues to evolve, and our outsourcing model needs to adapt and become future ready," Katf said.

"Our aim is to provide greater opportunities for competition, delivering better value for money for the Australian community."

He expects these bundles to build on the delivery of the new managed network services contracts the ATO signed recently, including with Optus for a quintet of contracts totalling AU$233 million; IBM for AU$107 million, and Leidos Australia, which the ATO awarded a 33-month contract extension to deliver end-user technology support services in a deal valued at close to AU$98 million.

As revealed by the Digital Transformation Agency (DTA) earlier this year, the ATO is involved with 12 IT projects over AU$10 million each in value.

On the DTA's list is the ATO's new "application modernisation" play, which is aimed at addressing "ongoing system health whilst rationalising and re-architecting for the future".

The ATO had its Single Touch Payroll (STP) project on the DTA's list before, and although it came into effect on 1 July 2019, further expansions of STP continue to be rolled out, including engagement with Services Australia and its welfare data-matching initiative, therefore seeing the project stay on the list in 2021.

STP is essentially the automation of pay-as-you-go (PAYG) and super reporting between businesses and government.

Still on the list from last year is myGovID -- the Australian government's digital identity credential handled by the ATO. It's like the 100-point ID check but on a smart device and allows citizens to have their identity verified so they can access government services using that verified identity rather than being verified continually by each Commonwealth entity.

The ATO is also involved with a handful of other high-cost super-related IT projects, such as the "super new measures contribution changes and improvement" program of work and the transfer balance cap. Both projects have almost been running for five years each.

The taxation office is also working on its cybersecurity capabilities through the "building cyber resilience" project and it's aiming to modernise infrastructure while building a modern system delivery framework through its data centre subprogram.

Elsewhere are its JobKeeper support function; the First Home Super Saver Scheme; the project to deliver a whole-of-government business register platform; the creation of a "streamlined authorisation solution that will make it easier for clients to authorise others to act on their behalf" through a relationship and authorisation manager; and the "Super Stream Rollovers" initiative that is being developed by the ATO and APRA.


Services Australia has a JobKeeper data exchange arrangement with the ATO

Because the last time the department pulled information from Australian Taxation Office systems worked so well.

ATO wants to make it easier for businesses to receive emails and notifications

The Australian Taxation Office is on the hunt for a service provider to deliver an email service so businesses only have to access one inbox to receive updates.

ATO wants to verify citizens are alive and physically present for myGovID registrations

The agency has gone to market seeking to introduce a 'liveness' solution to the digital identity app.

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