Human Services Minister Joe Hockey has announced the appointment of IT consulting Booz Allen Hamilton as the lead advisor to the Office of Access Card.
Booz Allen Hamilton will project manage the implementation of the health and social services access card, and providing strategic advice to the minister and the Department of Human Services.
"The tender for Lead Advisor attracted a very strong response from around the globe," Hockey said. "Booz Allen Hamilton was judged to be the optimum choice, being both a global player with a strong local presence, and having overseen the implementation of 25 smartcard programs, including completed projects in Europe and the US."
Booz Allen Hamilton will co-locate its project team within the Office of Access Card, bringing consultants from around the world to Canberra.
During the course of the evaluation, the department had a team of 25 staff examining the experience of all prospective advisors, including direct enquiries to government and private sector project sponsors. An independent probity review was also conducted.
The appointment involves a series of contracts over the life of the project, with the initial contract worth $4 million over the next three months.
Booz Allen Hamilton's first task is to outline the implementation plan, business architecture, technological specifications, and budget for the project.
A program monitoring and assurance consultant will also be appointed to review the work and advice of Booz Allen Hamilton.
Booz Allen Hamilton director Vanessa Wallace said the company is looking forward to taking part in ensuring the delivery to the Australian people of an "efficient and secure" system for accessing government health and social services benefits.
"We will announce shortly further appointments to the team including the deputy secretary of the Office of Access Card, the chief technology architect, and the program monitoring and assurance consultant," Hockey said.