Quote Of The Year

Quote Of The Year - Paul Shetler - "Its not Your Health Record it's a Government Record Of Your Health Information"

Sunday, March 03, 2013

DoHA Has Released A Major ICT Tender - Worth Reading The Details To Understand What DoHA Has Been And Is Doing.

The following tender appeared a little while ago.

Request for Tender (RFT) for the provision of Solution Delivery Services to deliver an Aged Care Gateway system

ATM ID                      DoHA/220/1213
Agency                      Department of Health and Ageing
Category                   80101507 - Information technology consultation services
Close Date & Time          3-Apr-2013 2:00 pm (ACT Local time)
Publish Date           15-Feb-2013
Location                    ACT, NSW, VIC, SA, WA, QLD, NT, TAS
ATM Type                Request for Tender

Multi Agency Access      Yes

The Commonwealth Department of Health and Ageing (DoHA) seeks a contractor to provide the Services and Products necessary for the creation and operation of a solution for a new Aged Care Gateway system (Gateway) for aged care services.
The Gateway will create an identifiable entry point to the aged care system comprising several key elements:
(a) a national contact centre, including the My Aged Care website;
(b) an assessment service to identify needs based upon a nationally consistent assessment framework and standardised tools;
(c) a central client record to support appropriate information collection and sharing; and
(d) a linking service, targeting vulnerable people with multiple needs.
This RFT invites interested entities to offer the following Services and Products:
(a) Services necessary to plan, design and develop the detailed approach to operational management and service delivery for the overall Gateway (Business Design Services);
(b) Services necessary to design, build, test and deploy the Gateway and integrate the various components of technology to be used for the Gateway (some of which may be provided by DoHA or other Commonwealth agencies and/or their contracted service providers, and some of which may be provided by the Contractor or its subcontractors) into a single, fully functional technical solution for the Gateway (Technical Design and System Integration Services);
(c) Services necessary to ensure that the Commonwealth is provided with the Software or Software Services and other Products necessary for the operation of the Solution for the Gateway (Product Provision Services);
(d) Services necessary for the proper operation, maintenance and support of the Solution for the Gateway during the Term of the Contract (System Operations, Maintenance and Support Services); and
(e)  Optional Services or other Services as specified in the Contract (Optional Services).
Conditions for Participation None in addition to the Department's standard requirements
Timeframe for Delivery                June 2013 to June 2015 with options to extend
Address for Lodgement                www.tenders.gov.au
The link is here:
There is a link to download the tender details once you are registered as an interested party or potential tenderer.
Among the interesting aspects that are available are the following.
1. Documentation that sets out performance and uptime characteristics that are a lot more onerous than we see with the NEHRS. I wonder has there been some attempt to learn from the NEHRS Program?
2. Requirements to integrate with the HI Service, Australian Business Number and NEHRS Systems. It seems odd we are now creating a pathway to create another client record and then tie it in with the NEHRS. One hopes as the NEHRS becomes a life-long record all the NEHRS and Aged Care information will be properly segmented. It is also interesting that another record is being created without the apparent stakeholder input that went into the NEHRS.
3. We are told of the IT Governance Principles applied by DoHA.

IT Governance Principles

The endorsed IT Governance Principles are used to guide IT decision making and sourcing.
IT Governance Principle in full
The department should have a consolidated IT work program based on a single set of priorities and only the agreed highest priority activities should be resourced and completed.
The approach to provide systems support for new policy proposals (NPP) will be designed at the time of writing the NPP to enable a better approach and costing estimate.
Policy and reform projects should design and deliver systems that contribute to the enterprise capabilities that can be leveraged by the department.

I have to say I found these a little lacking in terms of scope and coverage.
4. The planned management of the project really takes the biscuit in terms of being baroque and convoluted. The number of Boards and Committees really takes one’s breath away. The diffusion of responsibility is a real treat to behold.
5. This all has the flavour of another very large ICT project being kicked off by Government that might suffer the fate of others we can all think of.
6. The planned rationale and benefits are interesting.

3         Programme Benefits

3.1         Key Benefits

The strategic motivation for implementing the Aged Care Gateway was described in the Living Longer Living Better aged care reform package.  The Aged Care Gateway is a response to the conclusion presented in Living Longer Living Better that “The aged care system can be very difficult for older people, their families and carers to understand. The sources of information are wide and varied, often difficult to access and understand and do not support informed decision making.”
The Living Longer Living Better aged care reform package outlined the major deliverables of the Aged Care Gateway:
  • My Aged Care website
  • National contact centre
  • Linking service.
The likely benefits of implementing the Aged Care Gateway were briefly examined in the first pass business case, and benefits were outlined for older people, the aged care sector and the aged care system.
Now that the planning for the implementation of the Aged Care Gateway has advanced, it has been possible to examine the likely benefits in more detail. A graphical summary of the expected benefits is provided in Attachment A.
The expected benefits are clustered around these themes:
  • Accessible and understandable information
  • imely and consistent experiences
  • Linked services.
The benefits expected of the Aged Care Gateway are documented in the following tables. The tables include information about the benefit itself, how it is to be achieved, and how the measurement of the benefit may occur.
There seems to be a risk of some downside to all this - which we plan to ignore:

3.2.4  Disbenefits

The analysis also detected some potential disadvantages for certain parties that may arise from the implementation of the Aged Care Gateway.
  • The implementation of the National Contact Centre may lead to perceptions of reduced opportunities for face-to-face service delivery and reduced access to local knowledge, especially in cases where a telephone service replaces services that were previously accessed in a face-to-face setting.
  • Some providers may find that the role of the National Contact Centre may limit their ability to refer cases to themselves.
  • The Aged Care Gateway will require providers to interact with new systems. This requirement may contribute to the need for providers to enhance or replace their automated business systems.
  • The implementation of the Aged Care Gateway, and especially the My Aged Care website, may lead to greater awareness of entitlements and support options. This may lead to increased demand for services.
There are no plans to measure the magnitude of these consequences of implementing the Aged Care Gateway.
And the approach to benefits is very clear - if rather brief!

4         Benefits Approach

The Aged Care Gateway Sourcing Strategy explores in great detail how the Department of Health and Ageing might strategically approach the change management aspects of delivering the Gateway.  A critical part of this change management is the delivery of the following:
  • Benefits and evaluation framework – Development of a whole of program framework for the assessment and tracking of benefits in a way that demonstrates linkages between benefits and policy objectives
  • Monitoring capability – delivery of monitoring services that assist the department to source, compile, review and evaluate data developed during implementation
  • Evaluation services – development of an evaluation framework, and approach for monitoring and measurement of activities that inform progress and contribution of the program to the program benefits.
It is expected that a specialist Change Management partner will be able to re-use the information already established by the Gateway programme and build upon this to achieve the above outcomes.
Why does this all just cause a sense of deja vu?
I am sure others will pick up a lot more. Really worth a browse.


Anonymous said...

Another SILO doing its thing in a Department of SILOS.

Bernard Robertson-Dunn said...


This is the way government IT procurement happens:

Someone has an idea so they develop a business case. The business case has an estimate of the dollar value and when it will be completed.

It gets approved and they develop an RFT.

The problem is that in the RFT they say "The required enterprise systems capability requirements will be identified ...."

In other words, they have not yet agreed on the requirements. They know what it will cost and when it will be finished, but not what it will do.

SNAFU. This is the primary reason why 50-60% of all large scale IT projects fail.

Is this going to be any different? Well they haven't done anything different, so I would expect the same sort of result. A probable, if not certain fail.

IMHO, the big give-away is in the lack of understanding of the information to be managed and processed. This is supposed to be an Information Systems, but, once again they are treating it as an IT system.

The SOR says "2.1.3 DoHA collects provider and service information from providers and manages this information centrally in the National Approved Provider System (NAPS). This information is available to aged care systems within DoHA, and other agencies through appropriate arrangements. DoHA (through Commonwealth Respite and Carerlink Centres) collects service provider information in Commonwealth Carelink Centres Information System (CCCIS). State and Territory Governments, NGOs and private providers also capture and maintain their own registers or directories"

That's it. No details, not even at the highest level, of the information that is supposed to be in the system.

It's a typical procurement exercise. Most of the money goes on the technology, so that's what the focus is on. That and the project. Not the information, which is what really matters.

They have obviously spent some significant time and resources getting this RFT ready, time they could have spent analysing their information requirements. Have they done so? Well the RFT does not indicate that they have.

And they want vendors to propose a fixed price solution. To an ill defined problem.

It's the same old same old. A government IT project doomed from the start, for the same old reasons. It annoys the hell out of me.

Anonymous said...

Another DOHA-led eHealth Cluster F#$^ underway yet again.

Cut their budgets before they compound more harm on an already brain-dead and non-life sustaining healthcare system.

Anonymous said...

The Aged Care Gateway:
Abandon hope all ye who enter here.

Anonymous said...

One of the things they want is "a central client record to support appropriate information collection and sharing"
In a bizarre twist, DOHA may be able to submit a tender response to itself - finally a use for the NEHRS?

Anonymous said...

It's quite clear in eHealth that government intervention is harmfull and given that we can't balance the budget cutting these programs makes great sense. I suspect its the same accross many other areas. Small government is seen as unpopular but I am starting to see why its a great idea in general. The waste is shocking and the hubris sickening.

Anonymous said...

Bernard Robertson-Dunn makes very sound points. This is how so many of these big Govt IT health projects start out with the attitude - let's get the procurement ball rolling now and work out what our information requirements are later. It's another example of putting the cart before the donkeys.

Anonymous said...

Not to worry - they'll ask Accenture to handle it!

Anonymous said...

Well, looks like a standard govt procurement. They've set the criteria, issued the questions. They'll feed the answers into the magic sausage machine, an answer will pop out. I should imagine the usual suspects are in contention.

Anonymous said...

Bit surprised they aren't getting NEHTA to run the tender or even build it....ahem