Finance selects tech solution for whole-of-government ERP

By Shannon Jenkins

February 11, 2020

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The Department of Finance has decided which platform it will use for the Australian Public Service’s new common enterprise resource planning (ERP) system.

Finance has confirmed the ERP, known as GovERP, would use SAP S/4HANA as the core technology solution for a pilot program which is being undertaken with the Shared Service Provider Hubs. Five of the six hubs — which deliver corporate services to 73 agencies — already operate a SAP-based ERP .

“The outcomes of this work will inform the implementation approach,” a departmental spokesperson told The Mandarin.

They argued GovERP is consistent with the recommendations of the Thodey Review and the government’s reform agenda. Recommendation 17 of the Thodey paper called on the APS to adopt common enabling tools and services to support efficiency, mobility, and collaboration.

“Through the Shared Services Program Commonwealth agencies will use technologies and new ways of working to drive a public sector able to deliver higher quality services,” the spokesperson said.

“The program will remove duplication of corporate ICT systems, and will free up time spent by public servants on administrative tasks, so they can focus on meeting needs of citizens and businesses.”

They did not say how long Finance expects the implementation process to take, or what kinds of disruption might be faced during the implementation.

READ MORE: Finance looks to ERP-as-a-service as part of shared services reboot

The shared service hubs were introduced in 2016 and are located in Services Australia, the Australian Taxation Office, Treasury, Finance, Industry and Foreign Affairs.

GovERP would allow the hubs to invest once in a new ERP and share the asset, avoiding the cost of each hub investing separately for the same capability, according to Finance. Only one of the hubs uses a non-SAP system. The ERP would bring together human resources and financial data across the federal public service.

Finance secretary Rosemary Huxtable has previously argued federal agencies “can’t afford not to invest in shared services”.

“Shared services aims to allow a greater focus on the core priorities of government, rather than on delivering transactional corporate services; the ability to share and maintain new and emerging technologies, and better data, for informed decision-making,” she said at a 2017 IPAA seminar.

The department will hold an industry briefing next week.

The Department of Defence has a 5-year plan to implement the SAP S/4HANA Defence and Security Industry Platform. It commenced in 2016, with the department signing off on a contract with IBM to design the ERP in 2019. The project is expected to cost more than $1b over eight years.

READ MORE: Huxtable: shared services can work; the APS can’t afford for it to fail


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