Home Affairs drops $20m on tech testing contractors

Joseph Brookes
Senior Reporter

The Department of Home Affairs will spend at least $20 million on contractors to test its IT projects this financial year, including adding $4 million to one provider’s contract last week due to increased demand.

Three companies will share in a combined $20 million to provide nearly a hundred technology workers to test Home Affairs projects including the permissions capability, identity and biometrics, and criminal intelligence data sharing, after much of the work to develop these projects was also outsourced.

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Home Affairs is sourcing dozens of contractors to test its test projects through three lucrative contracts

The three contracts were awarded last July following a competitive request for quotation by the Department through the Digital Transformation Agency’s Digital Marketplace.

The largest, now worth $20 million, went to Modis Staffing, a local arm of the Swiss-headquartered Adecco Group – one of the world’s largest human resources providers.

Home Affairs awarded the company an $8 million contract for “IT Professional Services” last July. It was amended late last week to $12 million, although its duration remained at the original one-year.

A spokesperson for the Department of Home Affairs said the sharp increase in cost was due to “increased demand and emerging critical initiative such as border re-opening”.

The spokesperson said Modis Staffing had been engaged to provide approximately 50 full-time equivalent staff to test a variety of the Department’s managed services.

“Testing resources engaged through Modis Staffing are providing services to programs and areas including Permissions, Citizenship and Visa, Health and Digital Correspondence, Cargo and Trade, Identity and Biometrics, Corporate and Case and Shared Services arrangements with AusCheck, National Criminal Intelligence System and Austrade,” the spokesperson told InnovationAus.com.

The two other contracts awarded for the testing managed services work went to IT services and recruitment firms Aris Zinc and FinXL Professional Services. Both these contracts also run for a year and are valued at $4 million each.

The Aris Zinc contract engages around another 30 full time staff while the FinXL deal adds 14 more, the spokesperson told InnovationAus.com.

The Department of Home Affairs has also outsourced large parts of the development of these tech projects, including paying Accenture around $60 million for the permissions capability, which has opened to scathing public reviews. The Irish domiciled tech firm is also being paid another $3.5 million by Home Affairs for work on the National Criminal Intelligence System.

This article has been updated with the confirmed staffing numbers provided under each contract.

Do you know more? Contact James Riley via Email.

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