Reseller News

Oracle in box seat for government business as Customs eyes IRD's rollout model

IRD's delays shift to Office 365 and Windows 10
IRD focuses on completing its new enterprise support services projects

IRD focuses on completing its new enterprise support services projects

Inland Revenue is close to completing its delayed Oracle Cloud-based enterprise support system rollout, which is being delivered by Oracle itself with partners PrimeQ and Accenture.

It also appears to be trying to productise its implementation for use by other agencies, with Customs already eyeing the Oracle SaaS configurations IRD developed for its enterprise support services (ESS).

The tax office reported to Parliament that implementing the new ESS was a key project within its broader transformation programme, supporting many of its business processes to work more efficiently and consistently, by replacing human resources, finance, procurement systems as well as asset management.

The ESS vendor team joined IRD in September 2018 alongside IRD subject matter experts and testers.

The Oracle Cloud solution was expected to be delivered in three releases starting in February 2019 for budgeting.

Release 2 was scheduled for July 2019 for core human resources, purchasing and finance and release 3 in November 2019 for talent management and strategic processes.

However, IRD made the decision to delay the go-live of release 2, shifting it to 1 October 2019. 

"This decision was the result of a risk-based assessment of our readiness to successfully implement these changes as a number of data migration issues were identified during testing," it said.

Complexities in data conversion also contributed to the delay, the department said. Release 2 has now gone live successfully.

The various reports also shed further light on the government's emerging "common process model", reported in Reseller News earlier this week.

Minister for Inland Revenue Stuart Nash wrote in a further report that the department had adopted "out-of-the box" processes for ESS following a standard process model, which are now being packaged to be used by other agencies. 

"Inland Revenue is testing whether its configuration can be reused by other agencies as an accelerator for back-office system replacement," the department reported. 

"The New Zealand Customs Service have signaled their intention to adopt the model and test whether the Oracle configuration can be used to replace their finance system. 

"The GCDO, Treasury, SSC and Inland Revenue are working together to agree how the process model will be managed, delivered and sustainably funded in the future."

The new ESS has also been renamed as Ātea, meaning "space" in te Reo Māori - the space, courtyard or open area in front of the wharenui meeting house where visitors are formally welcomed. 

"It can also refer to the expanse or space above us, linking nicely with the ‘cloud’ in the Oracle Cloud," IRD explained in a quarterly report.

Meanwhile, the major part of the transformation, Release 4 of the replacement of IRD's core tax engine, faced only minor delays, IRD reported to ministers in September. 

"We have completed 87 per cent of the business function definitions (which describe what the solution needs to do for a particular activity) required for the release," the department said. 

"This is slightly behind plan as some business function definitions have been revisited in light of design decisions. It is not a cause for concern. 

"Testing is also slightly behind plan, and again this is not a cause for concern. Overall, we are comfortable with the progress we are making. We held a successful open home for other government agencies during the month."

Fast Enterprises is delivering that system.

IRD also delayed its planned shift to Office 365 and Windows 10, a project it said aimed to allow its people to work in "more collaborative, flexible and agile ways".

In April 2019 Inland Revenue decided to delay the migration to reduce risk, given its proximity to Business Transformation release 3. 

The migration resumed in August 2019 and is due to be completed by February 2020.

Spend on the DXC contract in 2018/19 was $8.5 million against a budget of $8.8 million with the estimated cost in 2019/20 as $5.6 million.

The overall budget (excluding the contingency held by the Commissioner) for the $1.8 billion transformation programme, from 1 July 2019 until 30 June 2020, was $221.7 million for operating expenditure and $90 million for capital expenditure.

From 1 July 2019 to 31 August 2019, operating expenditure was $2.3 million over budget and capital expenditure was $0.8 million under budget. 

"Based on current forecasts, we expect to complete delivery within budget (including contingency) for operating and capital expenditure," IRD said. 

"The Commissioner holds a contingency of $6.4 million for operating expenditure and $7.8 million for capital expenditure."