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Wednesday, 27 May 1987
Page: 3457

(Question No. 5286)


Mr Blunt asked the Minister for Community Services, upon notice, on 19 April 1987:

(1) What policies and procedures governed the selection of private firms to collaborate with his Department in the development and marketing of the ORION computer system.

(2) What has his Department contributed to the joint development of the system in terms of (a) money, (b) manpower, (c) equipment and (d) computer software.

(3) What has each collaborator contributed to this development.

(4) What involvement have departmental officers had in marketing the ORION system.


Mr Hurford —The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1) HRM Consulting was selected following an assessment of the capacity and expertise of various private sector firms, to develop and maintain an integrated human resource management system. In reaching its decision the Department gave cognisance to:

record of achievement

quality of staff who would be engaged on this project

ability and willingness to develop a system for the Department's WANG environment

cost

compliance with Finance Regulations and Directions

(2) (a) $230,000 for contract programming, consulting services and departmental administrative expenses.

(b) The ORION project has been supervised by the Executive of the Department. A project team of 4 staff was established in March 1986 to prepare user specifications, support system development, test the software, and manage implementation. Additional staff totalling one person year have been seconded to the project team at various times.

(c) and (d) The Department of Community Services has been using existing WANG equipment and associated software to develop ORION. This equipment was acquired through normal government procedures at the time of the Department's creation for office-based purposes such as word processing.

(3) ORION is being developed in collaboration with HRM Consulting and WANG Computer. The contributions of these organisations are as follows:

HRM Consulting: Systems analysis, programming, consulting and purchase of computer equipment to a net value of $503,000.

WANG Computer: Training, assistance with applications development, hardware and facilities to a value of $191,600.

(4) A number of Departments and private firms are currently developing computerised human resource management systems for the Australian Public Service. The Efficiency Scrutiny Unit and the Department of Finance have taken an interest in these developments with a view to maximising investment to date and ensuring there are no new developments. Consistent with this approach my Department has demonstrated in a variety of forums, the functionality of ORION to ensure that unnecessary development of automated personnel systems is not initiated.