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Qld Health complexity tests IBM

IBM has described the SAP-based payroll/HR system it is implementing for Queensland Health as the most complicated it has ever seen in Australia.
Written by Suzanne Tindal, Contributor on

IBM has described the SAP-based payroll/HR system it is implementing for Queensland Health as the most complicated it has ever seen in Australia.

Queensland ICT Minister Robert Schwarten
(Credit: Queensland government)

"I do not have the letter with me, but IBM wrote to me today and said that it is the most complicated system that they have ever had to deal with in Australia," Queensland ICT Minister Robert Schwarten told a Queensland budget estimates committee yesterday. IBM would be able to implement the system in three years instead of five, he said.

"Health would probably be the most complex department in terms of the award structures, the rostering that is required and the geographic diversity of people throughout the state," director general of the state's Department of Public Works and Queensland Government CIO Mal Grierson said.

Queensland had been hoping to roll all government departments onto one new SAP payroll/HR system. However, the credit crisis and the amalgamation of departments into 13 instead of over 20 had changed the focus to standardising and modernising financial systems. At least each new larger agency should internally have the same finance system, Grierson said.

"We looked at the state of the systems across the agencies. We realised that we had a variety of SAP versions out there. There were about five different versions of finance systems. So we have changed direction and have now moved to upgrade our finance systems, starting with the Department of Community Safety, to the modern last release of SAP," Grierson said.

Now the agency hopes to move to four or five payroll systems and two or three finance systems. Schwarten believed this would not incur any extra costs.

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