Ministry of Social Development

Ministry of Social Development

2007 ranking: 6

Senior IS executive: Tim Occleshaw, chief information officer Reports to: Deputy chief executive, people capability and resources

Size of IS shop: 350

PCs: 10,502

Mobile PCs: 811

Terminals: 0

Hand-held devices: 105

Total screens: 11,418

Industry: Government and defence

PC environment: MS Windows 2002, Dell, Compaq

Server environment: HP/UX (HP Unix); MCP; Solaris/Sun OS; Windows

2000, NT; ESX, Linux; HP 9000; Unisys

DBMS: Oracle, DMS2, SQL

Address: Level 8 Bowen State Building, 32 Bowen Street, Wellington


Key IS projects this year: Client Management System; management

information and systems programme; SWIFTT TRACE replatform.

THE MINISTRY OF Social Development (MSD) has more than 9300

staff, 11,500 screens, with an annual turnover of $1.10 billion.

Tim Occleshaw heads an ICT team with around 350 permanent

staff. He says the MSD is focused on sustainable client and community

outcomes, thus both client and frontline staff requirements directly

drive the IT strategy and architecture.

“We put clients at the centre of everything we do and that puts some

pressures on our IT systems. Our front-line staff have evolved business

processes and practices, but IT and systems infrastructure has not

always been able to evolve as fast, so that’s a big challenge.”

Large IT projects for 2008 include the continued development of

the newly implemented Client Management System (CMS) to refl ect

the Ministry’s move away from a transaction-based business approach.

In 2006/07 MSD successfully implemented on time and on budget

its CMS Phase 1A, which was focused on the implementation of the

new Cúram platform and development to support Work and Income’s

new service approach to do with up-front, work-focused service. CMS

Phase 1A supports staff assessing clients for services, as well as assisting

staff to automatically create and manage client service plans.

Occleshaw says MSD will roll out additional CMS functionality

(employment and training programmes) to all Work and Income staff

as part of the phase 1B implementation from September 2008.

“We will continue to extend CMS to support key policy and service

delivery developments. Over time the system will draw together

all information about clients’ overall situation, needs and skills,

streamlining administration time and supporting best-practice case

management,” says Occleshaw.

Key IT activity supporting this includes

the new Client Management System; greater integration of systems

and joining of disparate repositories of client information into a

single view of the client; evolution of integration strategy towards a

service-oriented architecture; and a management information system

(SAS data-warehouse) programme for Child, Youth and Family. This

aims to build managers’ capability to recognise trends, understand

drivers and know what the information means and what action they

should take in response to indicators.

MSD is moving from its mainframe systems in a careful, risk averse

way, says Occleshaw. Last year they conducted a successful Proof

of Concept, converting MDS’ debt management system (Trace) to a

more modern, lower cost and open computing platform (Unix) and

programming language (Java). This year the Ministry is implementing

its converted Trace system into production.

On the infrastructure front, the Ministry is now part way through a

major server and desktop infrastructure refresh programme, which,

among other things, will deploy Windows XP at the desktop and Vista

for laptops, as well as replace the Ministry’s aging email infrastructure

with a Microsoft Exchange/Outlook environment.

Last year the Ministry tendered for its telecommunications service

provider, selecting Gen-i/Telecom (data and voice) and Vodafone

(mobile services only) as preferred suppliers. This year they expect

to complete negotiations and commence implementation of a range

of enhanced telecommunications services, as part of a new

telecommunications service contract.

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