Social Welfare to get out of computing business

Unisys and EDS are likely candidates to take over Tritec following the Department of Social Welfare's decision to jettison the IT business unit.

Unisys and EDS are likely candidates to take over Tritec following the Department of Social Welfare’s decision to jettison the IT business unit.

Unisys officials say it will definitely respond to an RFI issued by the department last week, but EDS heads were overseas. IBM spokesperson Lisa Davies wouldn’t comment specifically and would neither confirm nor deny the company’s interest in Tritec. She says IBM evaluates outsourcing opportunities as they become available.

The director general of Social Welfare, Margaret Bazeley, says in considering development of a replacement for the Swiftt benefit payment computer system, it was logical to look at operations for business partnering and/or the devolvement of Tritec from the department. “While the department is increasingly reliant on sophisticated information technology systems, the development and provision of IT is not a core part of Social Welfare’s business.

“The information technology business requires regular and significant capital injections. It is highly competitive and risky and is not an area suited to government commercial expertise. In addition, Tritec could not reasonably be expected to gain the capacity necessary to carry out the development of the Swiftt replacement system within the required time frame of approximately three years.”

Bazeley says a condition of any business partnership or devolvement of Tritec would be that the 100 Heretaunga-based staff would retain their jobs.

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