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Tuesday, 11 October 2011
Page: 11531

Defence Export Control Office: Replacement IT System

(Question No. 549)


Mr Robert asked the Minister for Defence, in writing, on 22 August 2011:

(1) When were the (a) request for tender documentation, and (b) tender of the successful tenderer, for the Defence Export Control Office (DECO) replacement IT system released.

(2) Which company was awarded the DECO IT system replacement contract.

(3) When did the DECO begin the transition to the use of the new IT system, and when will the new system be fully operational.

(4) What is the per annum cost of (a) delivering, and (b) running, the DECO replacement IT system.

(5) On what grounds did Defence decide to replace the DECO IT system and what capabilities will the new system offer over the existing system.

(6) Will the new DECO IT system meet all of the requirements that are to be contained within the Defence Trade Controls Bill 2011.


Mr Stephen Smith: The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1) (a) Neither a restricted nor an open tender for the DECO replacement IT system were conducted. A feasibility study has been conducted by the Defence Chief Information Officer Group and it is intended that the Request for Tender will proceed in the upcoming weeks.

(b) Neither a restricted nor an open tender for the DECO replacement IT system were conducted. IBM Australia Limited were approached to submit a quote for the DECO replacement IT which was not accepted. The Defence Chief Information Officer Group will be proceeding to Request for Tender in the upcoming weeks.

(2) Neither a restricted nor an open tender for the DECO replacement IT system were conducted. IBM Australia Limited were approached to submit a quote for the DECO replacement IT which was not accepted. The Defence Chief Information Officer Group will be proceeding to Request for Tender in the upcoming weeks.

(3) DECO has not begun transition to the DECO replacement IT system as it has not yet been developed. It is estimated that the new system should be operational in the first half of 2012.

(4) (a) The cost per annum of delivering the DECO replacement IT system will be determined as part of the Request for Tender process.

(b) The cost per annum of running the DECO replacement IT system will be determined as part of the Request for Tender process.

(5) Defence decided to replace the DECO IT system because the DECO IT system:

Is now obsolete having been introduced in 1992.

Is very difficult to support with little effective back up available.

Has not kept pace with changes to legislation, including the introduction of the Weapons of Mass Destruction (Prevention of Proliferation) Act 1995.

Does not support an optimal staffing structure and provides an ineffective paper-based and labour intensive system.

Is a 'stand-alone' system that runs on separate hardware and networking infrastructure,

independent from all Defence Chief Information Officer Group governance and sustainment arrangements.

The DECO replacement IT system offers the following advantages over the DECO IT system:

It will be supported by the Defence Chief Information Officer Group on existing Defence Restricted Network and Defence Secret Network infrastructure, hence supporting the ICT savings stream of the Defence Strategic Reform Program.

It will offer an approved assessment process which will allow DECO staff to more easily focus on analysing the policy issues in export cases and to assess them more thoroughly, consistently and quickly. This would allow existing DECO staff levels to accommodate a rising volume of export applications, and would accommodate expected additional work under legislative amendments currently being proposed.

It will deliver an e-business approach for Exporters who will be able to submit applications and other required documentation online.

It will better facilitate coordination of complex cases which, require classified input

from other government departments and specialist areas within Defence.

It will offer an updated modern database which will improve reporting and analysis for DECO and other specialist areas within Defence.

(6) The DECO replacement IT system has not yet been developed, however it will be built to meet the requirements of the DECO which include the requirements of the Defence Trade Controls Bill 2011. It is also planned to ensure that the DECO replacement IT system will be flexible enough to cope with evolving United States requirements and Australian legislation.