DHS eyes SAP for AU$102m child support system overhaul

The Australian Department of Human Services has gone to tender for its child support IT system known as Cuba.
Written by Josh Taylor, Contributor

The Australian Department of Human Services (DHS) has indicated that it will seek an SAP commercial off-the-shelf product to replace its legacy Cuba child support system.

As ZDNet reported in May's Federal Budget coverage, the government allocated AU$102.2 million over the next five years to replace the legacy IT support system, which has been in place since 2002.

The current system, named after the goddess of children in Roman mythology, is used by over 3,000 staff members every month, affecting 1.5 million members of the public who are either paying or receiving child support, with over 1 billion transactions going through the system every year.

It has 650 screens and windows supported by 1,000 mainframe-based servers, consisting of 7,500 code modules with a database of 350 tables with close to 7,500 data access points.

A spokesperson for the department told ZDNet that the Cuba application was built in-house using the CA-Gen development platform, supported by a range of other technologies that enabled the system to interact with departmental software. Initial high-level design was provided by Unisys in 2002, and the application has been maintained in-house since then.

In tender documents published on Thursday, the department indicated that it is looking for a solution that would replace Cuba with an SAP commercial off-the-shelf product, with accelerated SAP methodology to be employed.

The company that wins the tender will need to develop the new system, migrate the child support database to the new platform and validate the data, decommission the existing Cuba system, and archive the data and ensure the new system integrates into the department's communications network.

The department is looking to have the new system deployed by mid-2016, with the existing Cuba system decommissioned by the end of 2016.

Although the initial contract period is set out over five years, the department said in the tender documents that it is looking to shorten the time frame for the implementation of the new system to three years.

The tender is open to expressions of interest until August 12, 2013.

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