Customs moves to tender for border upgrade

Border management system expected to integrate with border-related systems of other government agencies

Customs has progressed directly from a preliminary notice to a request for tender (RFT) for its Border Management Systems Replacement (BMSR), skipping the usual intermediate Request for Proposal.

The current RFT, posted on behalf of both Customs and the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MAF), relates to the preparation of a second-stage business plan for BMSR, which includes delivery of a successor to the Cusmod system and upgrades by MAF to its border management systems.

In addition, BMSR will be expected to provide functions that “complement or integrate with” the border-related systems of other government agencies, says the RFT. These include the Department of Labour’s (DoL’s) Immigration Business Transformation (IBT) programme, currently at Stage 2 business case development.

“Other agencies such as the Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) and the New Zealand Food Safety Authority (NZFSA) are conducting projects that impact on the border too.”

The project will also align with the proposal to develop a Trade Single Window “enabling clients to interface with government authorities via a single entry point in order to comply with regulations relating to the import, export and transit of cargo, and the arrival and departure of commercial ships and aircraft,” the document says.

“This is likely to deliver synergies in border management for Customs, MAF, NZFSA and Maritime New Zealand.”

Building the successor to Cusmod is expected to be a five-year project.

Providers will have to take care to develop a “technology agnostic” plan if they wish to be involved in the development and integration stage, Customs warns. To do otherwise might produce a conflict of interest and bar them from consideration for the later stages.

No unexpected factors emerged in the drawing up of the first-stage BMSR business plan, says Customs.

“Up to this point everything has proceeded according to the original work plan.”

There is an increasing all-of-government orientation with public-sector ICT projects and some border policing developments such as additional security and the planned Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement are internationally driven.

There has been no pressure to speed up the BMSR plan arising from those considerations, says Customs.

Customs expects to engage personnel from more than one supplier to develop the Stage 2 business case, to help it guard against future resource shortages.

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