Action begins on e-govt projects

Requests for information and tender are beginning to emerge out of the massive e-government initiative.

Requests for information and tender are beginning to emerge out of the massive e-government initiative.

In late December the Department of Work and Income issued a request to tender for an e-procurement system. This is intended as a pilot project for DWI itself, says project head Garry Lewis. The information gained from this pilot "may be useful” to a future government-wide e-procurement system, he says, and it will act as a feasibility test, “but if government decides they want to go ahead [with the major project] that will be the subject of a separate tender.”

Computerworld understands representatives of the major e-procurement companies, such as Ariba, SAP, Supplynet, Oracle, EDS and the “big five” consultancies, attended a meeting called to present and discuss the request to tender, but potential suppliers contacted by Computerworld were unwilling to comment on their expectations of the DWI project as a lead-in to the wider project across government.

Leigh Warren, managing director of Oracle, says “at this stage any comment [on that front] would be purely conjecture.”

DWI intends to trial the chosen e-procurement system with between three and five of its current suppliers, says Lewis. These will range from major suppliers of stationery and furniture to “maybe a plumber or electrician working through a cellphone”.

Meanwhile, the State Services Commission’s e-government unit has put out a request for information on a “web-based programme management tool” to assist in managing the various e-government projects already under way or planned for implementation as part of the e-government project.

“We have about 11 projects [planned] at the moment,” ranging from e-procurement to the organisation of meta data, says unit head Brendan Boyle. “Some of those are already under way”.

The tool is seen as allowing people involved with each project to store and retrieve information on progress. The web-based interface will ensure that information can be made simply and widely available, Boyle says.

Meanwhile, an e-government strategy document has been completed and will be released in the next few weeks, says Boyle.

The strategy is yet to be ratified by cabinet, he says, and isn't being publicly released until after this.

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