The federal government will pay consulting giant Deloitte more than $1.5 million for its off-the-shelf online forum platform and social media management tools for use by the tax office.
A contract posted publicly last week revealed the global consultancy will be paid $1.543 million for “online community and social media platform services” for the Australian Taxation Office (ATO), with the work running for a year from February.
A spokesperson for the ATO said the work relates to the ATO’s existing community forum, where users can ask tax-related questions and receive answers from other users and ATO representatives.
“The work involves providing an off-the-shelf commercial online community forum, implementation of the design of the user interface for the community platform and ongoing management services,” an ATO spokesperson told InnovationAus.
“The contract also provides for social media community management and monitoring services.”
Under the contract, Deloitte will also replace the ATO’s current “social media workflow management and monitoring tools”.
InnovationAus understands that the ATO’s existing contracts to run back-end hosting for the community forum, and for its existing social media community management and monitoring services, have come to an end, and Deloitte will be stepping in to replace them.
The existing ATO community forum is unlikely to undergo any significant changes, with Deloitte to provide off-the-shelf backend systems.
The ATO posted a tender in October last year, seeking one or more companies to provide “off the shelf commercial online community forum, implement the design of the user interface for the community platform, social media management platform and social media monitoring”.
ATO Community is a peer-to-peer online forum where members can ask tax-related questions and receive answers from other members or ATO officials. The forum has nearly 65,000 members and more than 130,000 posts have been made on it.
“Using community driven conversations, users can find answers to their tax and super questions. This information creates a knowledge bank for the community to use in the future to help find answers,” the ATO said.
The forum also includes a gamification element, with users encouraged to post more and answer more questions through a ranking system, with “unique features” unlocked with a higher rank.
Deloitte has also won the bulk of the work to develop a new myGov contract, with the firm awarded nearly $35 million over the last year to build a new platform.
Late last year the company was awarded a $1.5 million contract to kick off work on the federal government’s new apprenticeships data management system, after a first attempt saw nearly $20 million last before the project was scrapped.
In 2020 the consultancy was tasked with building a new platform to deliver the research and development tax incentive for $1 million, with the system expected to be up and running in the coming months.