Accenture has come on top of a battle with Capgemini to secure the first bundle of work in the federal government's billion-dollar Centrelink payment systems overhaul.
Human Services minister Alan Tudge today announced Accenture would provide the systems integration work for the welfare payments infrastructure transformation (WPIT) project and roll out the initial module of SAP software.
Accenture and Capgemini had been competing for the project since late last year.
The federal government allocated $60.5 million over four years from 2015-16 for the first tranche of the WPIT project.
The awarding of the first bundle of work marks the commencement of one of the largest and most complex IT transformations ever undertaken by the federal government.
Once complete, the department will boast a new online interface for Centrelink, a new payment utility, as well as new underpinning technology infrastructure.
The system that is being replaced by the SAP-based solution was built in 1984 and stores 32.5 million customer records, each containing around 32,000 fields each. It is built on 30 million lines of code and holds 160TB of data.
DHS last year decided to split the mammoth project up into five tranches, with a maximum of six partners competing for the work.
Work on the second bundle of work, which involves the migration of student payments, is scheduled to begin early next year. DHS put that tranche up for grabs in August.
The third stage will see job seeker payments shifted across, followed in succession by families payments, and then seniors, pensioners, and other remaining payments.
The department has already begun tweaking bits of the system as it scrutinises supplier pitches. So far it has sped up youth allowance claims with faster rejection for incomplete submissions, cutting processing times and the backlog of claims by half.
It will target applications for carer payments with the same improved processes next.