Mega ministry backs off SaaS requirement

The 3000-strong Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment insists an amended Notice of Intent still complies with New Zealand's All of Government 'cloud first' policy.

New Zealand's Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment (MBIE) has backed away from specifying Software as a Service for its new human capital management (HCM) system.

MBIE released a notice  last month  that it was intending to go to tender for a for a multi-tenanted software as a service (SaaS) HR management system that could potentially be shared with other agencies.

However, the department has since revised its notice to include vendors of traditional applications.

"MBIE’s view is that opening up the process to all solution types provides greater flexibility for MBIE’s investment decision," a spokesperson told ZDNet. "This is still consistent with the All of Government approach."

Cabinet approved an All of Government cloud computing strategy, including a "cloud first" approach, that was issued by the Department if Internal Affairs (DIA) in 2012. DIA, through the office of the Government CIO, has an overview of government ICT procurement, projects and IT strategy.

"The approach established a ‘cloud first’ policy and an all-of-government direction to cloud services development and deployment," DIA's website says.

"Under the ‘cloud first’ policy state service agencies are expected to adopt approved cloud services either when faced with new procurements, or an upcoming contract extension decision."

That strategy also envisaged the creation of a Government "app store" offering approved cloud applications to agencies, according to a Cabinet paper (pdf) released at the time.

DIA was unable to comment at the time of publishing this story.

The notice of intent last month invited suppliers to submit information for the procurement of an integrated suite of human resource services software, implementation and support, including training.

Functions specified included: talent management; performance and development; reporting, analytics and data management; workforce planning; collaboration, and; employee and manager self service.

Recruitment, "on-boarding" and termination processes are also covered as are workflow, health and safety and leave management. Payroll, however, is out of scope.

The tender was to have been released towards the end of March.

MBIE was formed in July 2012 when the former Department of Building and Housing, the Ministry of Economic Development, the Department of Labour and the Ministry of Science and Innovation were merged.