Veterans' Affairs audit prepares for outsourcing deal

Agency to stay with IBM

The Department of Veterans' Affairs last week extended an ICT outsourcing contract with IBM Australia in place since early 1992. The current contract will be run for four years, with two two-year contract extension options.

The contract includes a complete refresh of the agency's ICT Infrastructure, including rolling out plans for virtualization and a stronger disaster recovery process.

Mark Sullivan, secretary for the Department of Veterans' Affairs, said the current contract will deliver significant service and financial benefits over the term of the contract.

The contract signing came just days before a complete audit of the Department of Veterans' Affairs internal operations was released by the Australian National Audit Office (ANAO).

This audit, a follow-up to the 2002 audit, was to find out if the department had implemented recommendations from the original audit, which were to improve some strategic and operational issues as well as contract management.

According to the report, all recommendations have been implemented.

"The Department of Veterans' Affairs advises that its disaster recovery project has commenced with the outsourced provider having established a second site for a secure backup for data systems. This is a multi-phase project with completion expected by mid 2007," according to the ANAO report.

"DVA notes and agrees with the ANAO assessment that the department has implemented all of the recommendations from the original audit during the period 2002 to 2006 and also in preparation for the IT outsourcing contract which will operate from 2007.

"DVA advises that its disaster recovery project has commenced with the outsourced provider having established a second site for a secure backup for data systems. This is a multi-phase project with completion expected by mid-2007."

It is estimated the value of this tender is around $90 million.

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