Victoria Police signs massive IT outsourcing deal

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Victoria Police signs massive IT outsourcing deal

Exclusive: Years of work reforming partnerships reap results.

Victoria Police has signed a landmark new $164 million IT services outsourcing contract which will see it replace five deals that had been in place for almost ten years.

iTnews can reveal enterprise solution provider Kinetic IT has been selected as the police force’s new primary IT services partner for the next five years, starting this month.

The contract has the option of three additional one-year extensions, and the help of four subcontractors - Kinetic has named HP, Metronode, Prime Electrical and Data Services, and Recall Holdings as its partners for the contract.

The subcontractors will provide services ranging from applications development, data centre accommodation, and data cabling, to media handling and storage services.

The scope of IT services awarded to Kinetic remains similar to the five existing outsourcing arrangements, which had been provided by IBM and Fujitsu and which are due to expire midway through this year.

“For us this is a very good deal, not just because of the money element, but because of the quality uplift and accountability uplift we believe will come from these arrangements,” Victoria Police CTO Anthony Ramsay told iTnews.

 "The last time we went out to market for these services was over nine years ago, and the industry has moved considerably in that time. We’ve gone to market for services that will meet our current and future needs."

Kinetic IT will provide Victoria Police support for desktop, mainframe, infrastructure and applications; services for various hardware products including desktops; and data centre and disaster recovery services.

Victoria Police has 14,000 desktops, laptops and tablets; 1000 smartphones and tablets; 900 multi-function devices; 310 network-connected printers; and 1800 file/print servers.

Kinetic will also be responsible for around 250 of the agency’s 500 applications - of which 217 are custom-built - alongside VicPol’s two IBM z/OS mainframes, Windows and Unix servers, and four data centres.

Victoria Police has listed six objectives it wants to meet with its new partnership:

  • achieving value for money by maximising overall IT service quality within budget;
  • minimising management overhead costs;
  • ensuring continuity of service at all times;
  • ensuring a single point of accountability for IT services;
  • creating service flexibility for the future; and
  • maximising the benefits of outsourcing whilst retaining clear strategic control.

The Kinetic deal is likely to be highly scrutinised by state government auditors given the police force’s less-than-stellar marks on information technology in recent years, and controversy surrounding the previous five IBM and Fujitsu deals [pdf].

Victoria Police has come under sustained pressure from former Victorian Ombudsman George Brouwer over “severe anomalies and poor practices” within its IT services procurement, as well as its troubled (and halted) replacement of its LEAP system.

Despite the similarity in the services included under the new Kinetic and old IBM/ Fujitsu contracts, the focus of the new partnership is markedly different - Victoria Police is insistent in its requirement for a “clear single point of accountability”.

“Victoria Police will set and maintain the strategic direction of services, with the IT service provider owning the end-to-end responsibility for the delivery of each service, and the IT service provider ... will be a single point of accountability for IT service delivery,” it stated in its July 2013 expression of interest documents.

“These outcome-based services will focus on delivering the end outcome to the business, with service levels focused on the quality of the service provided to the business.”

When asked how the agency would ensure it did not experience a repeat of issues experienced with IBM and Fujitsu, Ramsay said the process to appoint Kinetic had been “extremely controlled”, considered, and one that would stand up to any amount of scrutiny.

“We’ve invested heavily to make sure we find the right partner to move forward with and avoid the controversies of the past,” he said.

“We’re very much looking forward to the partnership that we believe this represents. Kinetic are an organisation that are targeting their services to government, they have a good history in law enforcement.

“We’re confident that we can move forward from some of the history that’s been in this place before."

Control is a recurring theme in the agency’s new approach - over the last year Victoria Police shifted from an IT asset lease arrangement to an ownership model, in which the force buys its own new hardware once a device reaches end of warranty.

The new approach to IT services outsourcing forms part of the agency’s efforts to reform its operational systems and use of data to support modern policing, as part of the Policing Information Process and Practice Reform (PIPP).

PIPP, which will outline a blueprint for Victoria Police IT up until 2030, began in 2011 and involved an assessment of the current and future systems that manage data as well as a study of the agency’s main operational scenarios.

It has two streams - Sustain, which looks to solve the problem of the force’s troubled LEAP core operational database; and Transform, which is aimed at ensuring police have effective IT systems to do their jobs (such as mobile technology). The PIPP project will also likely involve the rationalisation of a large number of the force’s applications.

The program is being led by the agency’s first dedicated CIO since 2009, Wendy Steendam.

Click through for iTnews' exclusive interview with Steendam, one year on from her appointment as CIO.

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