Inland Revenue is pitching IBM against Oracle for its business-to-business digital infrastructure, part of its shift from paper-based communication with businesses to a purely digital interface.
The digital shift sits within a broader movement to increase consistency in data formats for reporting between businesses or individuals and all government agencies.
“Inland Revenue is following the global movement to standardise the business reports provided to New Zealand government agencies, with the intention of reducing the amount of information individuals, trusts, partnerships and business needs to provide to government in total,” says an IRD request for quotation (RFQ) document.
“The data types (taxonomy) provided to government agencies will be ‘harmonised’, with well defined context and meaning, enabling government agencies to exchange data and know precisely what it means.”
IRD intends to investigate a software solution, based on Oracle’s Fusion, or a hardware strategy, based on IBM’s DataPower XB60 hardware appliance.
Following evaluation of the two solutions, as provided by the winning bidders, a choice will be made of one approach or the other, though IRD, as is customary in such proposals, reserves the right not to proceed with either.
The initial scope of the new B2B system will be limited to a trial of GST returns and provisional tax. This is expected to be conducted between April and June this year.
“However this is planned to grow to multiple systems offering the B2B channel in 2011,” says IRD. Eventually, the RFQ says, the system is expected to scale to “one of the largest B2B environments planned for New Zealand”.
Inland Revenue’s existing B2B systems will be converted to the chosen new framework but no dates for this have been set.