Foreign Affairs and Trade spends $5.5m on system update

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade is spending around $5.5 million implementing a new financial management information system and re-engineering existing systems in Wellington and at 50 overseas posts.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade is spending around $5.5 million implementing a new financial management information system and re-engineering existing systems in Wellington and at 50 overseas posts.

Deputy secretary Roger Farrell says the ministry’s IT strategy is to move to open technology. The move from the existing hardware infrastructure will allow the ministry to become year 2000-compliant, he says.

The new system is replacing several different computerised and manual accounting systems, including Com-putron Financials in Wellington, an in-house-developed system which is used by 30 overseas posts, and a variety of small computer and manual systems.

Farrell says the new Windows-based system will also allow the replacement of some hardware platforms. Hewlett-Packard will provide K series boxes as servers.

Wang has been chosen as prime vendor, implementing Oracle Financials. Arthur Andersen has won the systems integration contract and coordination role for the project. Eleven vendors had tendered for the new system.

“The Wellington system is projected to go live in the second half of this year, along with two overseas trial posts,” Farrell says. “The other posts are scheduled to be rolled out over a two-year time frame, commencing from the beginning of 1998.”

He says the new system will provide productivity benefits through standardisation and full integration throughout the ministry.

“It will bring improved business processes and workflows and the advantages of simplified and common training at all locations.”

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