The Australian Customs Service's IT function
has a lot on its plate this year as it attempts to put last
year's technology nightmares behind it.
On Friday, the group released its annual report for the
2005/06 financial year. In the document, Customs acknowledged
freight industry problems caused by last year's botched
implementation of its Integrated Cargo System (ICS), but also
looked to the future.
In the 2006/07 financial year, Customs will implement a range
of technology initiatives including a desktop and local area
network server upgrade known as the One Office project.
An extension to Customs' telecomms agreement with Telstra
will be negotiated, in addition to a project to fully certify
Customs' local area network for security purposes. An identity
management solution highlighted in April will also be bedded
Customs is currently evaluating options for a new electronic record keeping system under the Records and Information Management System project, due to be implemented over the next couple of years.
However, perhaps the most important change within the agency
over the next 12 months will be the transition process as
Customs' AU$550 million outsourcing arrangement with EDS comes
to an end in June 2007.
Customs will bring desktop and local area network support
services back in-house.
However, a range of services previously covered under the EDS deal will continue to be outsourced. In late May, Customs went to public tender for a number of services including: mainframe and mid-range server, application maintenance and support and secure gateway services.
"Customs expects transition from the current arrangements to
the new contracts to occur between February 2007 and November
2007," the annual report said.
While the ICS bungle occupied most of the
headlines dealing with Customs' IT function in 2005/06, a range
of other technology initiatives also took place during that
"A three-year enterprise agreement for Microsoft [software]
licensing was established through reseller Dimension Data," said
Customs' annual report. Additionally, "an identity management
project implemented single sign-on for the Customs financial
The agency created an IT service support and engagement office
to enable the delivery of services to the business in a more
responsive manner, and an IT security panel was established to
better procure services in that area.
Following the implementation of the ICS system, Customs'
application development arm has moved from a development to
maintenance focus for its portfolio of cargo-related
Behind the scenes, Customs also bedded down a number of standardisation and data management projects over the past year.