A multi-million dollar contract with Deloitte for the government’s new Facebook-inspired digital service platform has climbed for the second time in less than a month after briefly disappearing from view last week.
The value of the seven-month deal for the beta build of the government’s new digital experience platform (GOVDXP) jumped from $19.5 million to $23 million on Tuesday, just three weeks after the contract more than doubled in value.
Deloitte has been busy developing the platform - which is expected to eventually replace the existing myGov portal with a single, tailored view of citizen’s interactions with the government - since it was handed an initial $1 million to build the initial prototype in February.
The $3.5 million increase follows a three-day period in which the previous $10 million amendment was mysteriously cancelled on the Commonwealth procurement website AusTender.
The Digital Transformation Agency declined to comment on the cancellation, before swiftly publishing a revised contract value under an amendment that states “correct contract value plus amendment”.
“The DTA is continuing work to improve digital experiences for Australians, in accordance with Government requirements and relevant procurement processes,” a spokesperson told iTnews for the second time in recent weeks.
With the prototype expected to have been completed last month, Deloitte is now thought to be tackling the first of three key releases for the myGov update platform - or what the DTA is calling ‘horizon one’.
Under horizon one, Deloitte is understood to be involved in developing a beta of the “new government platform”, as well as a “web-based myGov inbox, opt-in notifications and login access to myGov”.
Horizon one will build on the platform’s 'horizon zero' - a homepage on Australia.gov.au, which the DTA released in March, to help centralise information on the current coronavirus pandemic.
Deloitte will also take into account work carried out during its 90-day sprint for the prototype, which was intended to inform government thinking around possible future capabilities and systems integration approaches.
A future 'horizon two' is expected to follow the delivery of any beta platform, and will be delivered in partnership with a system integrator that will include “an integration layer [that] will sit over the myGov systems”.
“The new frontend will provide dashboard, profile, inbox and forms, along with information systems such as content pages and notifications,” a DTA blog post published in March hypothesises.
“The platform will collect services, apps and other customer experience capabilities to give users everything they need.
“This will operate on a 'Netflix' model, providing users with what they need to do next based on their previous interactions with government services — similar to Netflix’s 'recommended for you'.”
Despite the rapidly increasing cost of GOVDXP, the DTA is still without a business case for the project, having handed McKinsey a $1 million deal in May to come up with a plan by the middle of July.
The sharp increase in the project's cost could also raise questions about its origins, as well as the procurement process used.