The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment is embarking on a multi-year project to replace its highly customised legacy tenancy bond system, Bond2000.
After investigating a like-for-like upgrade, MBIE decided that due to the highly customised nature of the technology, the most efficient use of resources would be to replace the entire system and to take it online.
The replacement project is planned in three phases, the first of which is already underway, Parliament was told during appropriations for this year's Budget process.
This involves strategy work to identify service objectives, success measures and a target operating model.
The second phase entails service design, requirements definition, business process exploration, and an appropriate procurement exercise spanning 12-18 months and scheduled to begin in July of this year.
Following completion of the second phase of the project, capital funding was to be sought to build a replacement system. This was estimated to take 12-18 months, beginning in approximately January 2021.
"One of the benefits in the use of an online system was the ability to deliver the swift and accurate return of bond monies to tenants and landlords, which in turn supports a fair, efficient and functioning rental market," Parliament was told.
A new online system will reduce the time and effort of lodging bonds, deliver modern user authentication tools and ensure there is a significant reduction in the annual unclaimed bond pool estimated to return an additional $1.5 million to tenants and landlords.
A modern, flexible system will also be better positioned to respond to changes in legislation such as the recent Healthy Homes Guarantee Act and other proposed changes.
The main project risks are a lack of a considered and strategic plan for a replacement service, and that new technology falls short of service requirements and customer expectations.
"The phased approach of this project is in place to mitigate these risks, with significant customer research and analysis undertaken in phase 1 to inform the development of a strategic plan," MBIE told Parliament.
The strategic plan would create the basis for the service redesign, requirements development and technology options analysis in phase 2, and then the technical procurement and delivery in phase 3.
In the 2018 Budget the appropriation for tenancy services was increased by $1.5 million to $29.6 million for to cover necessary maintenance to the Bond2000 system and the workflow management system.