Centrelink calls for more IT suppliers

New panel to replace two older arrangements

The IT jobs market may be not be hot right now, but national welfare agency Centrelink is seeking more panel members to supply IT services across a range of fields and will consolidate two panel arrangements into one in the process.

Centrelink uses three panel arrangements – the applications services panel (ASP), the integrated services panel (ISP), and the ICT contractors panel. The ASP and the ISP will be replaced by a new single panel arrangement, but the contractors panel will not be affected.

There are no conditions for participation and panel members will be called up to provide services across applications development and support, ICT management, BI, databases, mainframe and midrange systems, desktop and mobile devices, and networking, communications and security.

Earlier this year CIO John Wadeson outlined Centrelink's intentions to push ahead with IT reform to make it more responsive to unpredictable policy changes and its growing data volumes.

Some 10 to 15 members will be appointed to the new panel which will be active from October 2009 until September 30, 2012, with an extension option for up to two years.

Most of Centrelink’s ICT management and employees are based in Canberra, where it operates two data centres.

Centrelink processes about 33 million customer service transactions per day across its entire IT environment. These transactions arrive across a number of channels and are processed by the mainframe-resident Model 204 databases.

Centrelink’s IT infrastructure is a mixed bag with multiple IBM mainframes (about 26,000 MIPS) running z/OS, midrange Sun Unix servers running Solaris, and Intel and AMD based servers (some virtualised with VMWare) supporting Windows Server, Linux and Novell Netware operating systems.

Lotus Domino running on Windows Server is used for messaging, with Netware file and print servers distributed throughout its network.

Client devices include Windows-based PCs, laptops and mobile devices, and Blackberry smartphones.

Centrelink's enterprise applications consist of ISIS (Income Security Integrated System), the master source of all customer data for service-delivery transaction processing using Model 204 and language (with Janus extensions) in the mainframe environment, and a Teradata-based data warehouse as the primary source of management information.

Other apps include Cognos, Hyperion, and SAP for HR and financials.

As part of the application process, Centrelink is asking contractors to specify pay rates based on work being conducted on Centrelink premises.

Experience is graded into three levels – up to two years experience for “Level 1”; two to five years for “Level 2”; and over five years for “Level 3”.

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