The wide range in the cost quoted for a successor to the ageing Swiftt computer system at the Ministry of Social Development is due to the difference between replacing Swiftt and the less expensive option of enhancing it, the ministry says.
The range, from $78 million to $180 million, was noted in the department’s post-election briefing document.
A recent study, known as the EISS project (Evaluation of Income Support Systems) “has been useful in identifying business drivers and for examining the issues that arise from any decision to change MSD’s legacy systems”, says MSD spokeswoman Bronwyn Saunders.
The ministry says it will be considering a range of options, and these may extend well beyond the “evolve” and “replace” options that were looked at by the EISS project.
“There is no urgent need to progress redevelopment of Swiftt, and a decision on its future will not be taken in the short term,” says Saunders.
MSD has appointed the most senior of its “advisers” to IT manager Christine Stevenson (see Social Development restructures IT). She is Dianne Noonan, most recently been employed by the ministry as a business development project manager, “and is highly skilled and experienced in the machinery of government processes including liaison with ministers’ offices and other government departments”.
Observers question her lack of experience in IT, but this is irrelevant, Saunders says: “This role is a governance role not a technical one and its focus is on business advice relating to the information systems strategic plan, business reporting and risk management.”