Operational staff across Transport NSW agencies will be moved to a new IT services division during December and January as part of accelerated plans to implement shared services ahead of the state election next year.
The move will be part of a temporary secondment from staff members’ respective home agencies for a nine to 12 month period, during which time the government agency is expected to formulate a more permanent structure for shared services.
Transport NSW released information on the move in late October, but one affected IT staff member told Computerworld Australia they had been notified of a 13 December move only two weeks ago.
It is unknown how many IT staff will be affected during the move. However, those looking after critical IT operations within key agencies are likely to remain in-house.
No redundancies have been planned as a result of the move, according to the department.
Transport NSW was contacted for confirmation of the move but did not reply at time of writing.
The accelerated plans come five months after the NSW Government published its corporate and shared services blueprint which identified six divisions providing shared services to 13 agency clusters through either an in-house or multi-tenanted model.
The Transport NSW shared services division will follow an in-house model, delivering shared services across 11 functions, including IT, to approximately 25,100 full-time equivalent staff. The division and move is expected to be overseen by department Deputy Director-General, Neil Padley, a shared services veteran from Air New Zealand who was installed in the Transport NSW role six months ago.
Transport NSW Director General, Les Wielinga, identified the plans for a central shared services location at an internal Transport NSW forum held in August earlier this year, highlighting economies of scale as a key motivation behind the move.
“There is significant change management occurring inside Transport at the moment, shifting a lot of people into new structures and so forth,” he said. “We need to do this smartly to make sure that we keep the business of the day going. That does present some few challenges but so far so good.”
It is believed Transport NSW has looked to achieve savings of 20 per cent through the shared services model, through consolidation of head count and systems. This may also include moving to a single ERP system; according to documents, the department is currently looking to move smaller agencies to the Road and Traffic Authority (RTA) SAP payroll system, and has contracted a third party to determine which single ERP system would suit the entire department based on the business requirements of individual agencies.
The NSW Government Chief Information Office, which looks after the state-wide PeopleFirst program, is on its way to providing whole-of-government systems. Earlier in the month, it released a shortlist of five potential data centre suppliers in an attempt to reduce the number of data centres from 160 to two across departments. Global Switch, which already provides a substantial amount of data centre space to Transport NSW agencies RTA and RailCorp - and which recently announced a second Sydney-based centre - was among those selected for a final round.
A report into the savings so far achieved by the PeopleFirst program, completed in August by Ernst & Young, is yet to be tabled to Cabinet and may not be released publicly this year as previously pledged.
Newly instated Communities NSW CIO, David Kennedy, has also championed a shared services model, though the department’s relatively low staff levels will require it to adopt a multi-tenanted rather than in-house model.