Tax searches for identity management

Only weeks after announcing it will consolidate its mid-range infrastructure under one vendor, The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) is out shopping for an identity management (IDM) solution for the 25,000 users working on the same machines.

According to a Request For Tender from the ATO, the new IDM system is required as part of its massive $350 million IT overhaul known as the Change Program - and will see "a number of new applications implemented in the Tax Office. These applications will be accessed by staff primarily through mid-range interfaces", the tender document states.

The RFT also reveals the Tax Office has shied away from any bespoke software builds, preferring commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) solutions "configurable to suit Tax Office requirements with minimal or no need for customization" and a minimum support period of three years. Vendors have also been put on notice they will be required to cater for an increasingly mobile ATO workforce.

"Whilst the bulk of these staff use personal computers connected to LANs and WANs, several thousand staff also use mobile platforms," the document states.

The specific inclusion of an integrated mobile solution within the ATO's greater mid-range topography gives credence to industry speculation the ATO is also on the hunt for a secure mobile platform for its current workforce, most likely a converged device capable of handling government grade encryption.

The tender closes on February 8, 2005.

The Taxman's identity shopping list

  • Human Resource system-triggered security services;
  • Access request, approval and process automation;
  • Credential management;
  • Self-service capability - password management;
  • Single sign-on;
  • Role-based and policy-based access management;
  • Fine-grained authorization and access control; and
  • Delegated administration.

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