Victoria reviews shared IT services

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Victoria reviews shared IT services

Halts agencies' transfer to CenITex.

The Victorian Government has halted the transfer of remaining IT services to whole-of-government provider CenITex, pending a review of its operations by the State Services Authority.

CenITex was to on-board the final three Victorian agencies and department – VicPolice, VicRoads and the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development – by next year.

It currently provides 36,800 desktops, networking, internet, hosting, identity management, storage and helpdesk services to all but one Victorian department and two of four inner budget agencies.

On Monday, The Age reported that the State Services Authority would examine CenITex’s governance, finances and “whether it can achieve its aims”.

The newspaper last month found that police were asked to investigate the state-owned organisation’s procurement processes after project managers allegedly awarded themselves $1.5 million worth of work.

CenITex reported a revenue of $156 million and deficit of $24.9 million in its 2010-11 annual report, tabled in state parliament last week (pdf).

A CenITex spokesman said the deficit was consistent with its business plan, and was unrelated to the review of its operations.

“The deficit is a result of short term heavy investment in new infrastructure and was consistent with the forecast in last year's business plan,” he said.

“State Services Authority is conducting a review of CenITex operations. Transfer initiatives related to the final three agencies and department to come into CenITex ... have been put on hold during the review.”

VicRoads’ executive director of technical and information services, Peter Mitchem said the agency would “continue to manage all relevant services” while the CenITex review was underway.

He directed all other questions about the project to the Department of Treasury and Finance. iTnews was unable to reach a departmental spokesman at the time of publishing.

Six-day email outage resolved

The Victorian Department of Business and Innovation suffered a six-day outage of its email and electronic file systems until Wednesday morning due to “a combination of issues” at CenITex.

As of Wednesday, a root cause analysis was still underway, a CenITex spokesman said.

CenITex was able to restore the affected services by “re-balancing of the load on the controllers associated with the storage infrastructure”, he said.

“The issues were first identified Thursday afternoon of last week and services were out Friday and Monday,” he said.

“Services were restored progressively through Tuesday [this week] and all services were back to normal on Wednesday.”

CenITex reported achieving a service availability of more than 99.5 percent and a 96 percent customer satisfaction rating on closed incidents and service requests in 2010-11.

The organisation is led by chief executive officer Michael Vanderheide, who was formerly the chief information officer of Victoria Police.

It is currently recruiting 15 staff, including network specialists, project managers, analysts, risk and security specialists through the Victorian Government’s careers web site.

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