Inland Revenue's business transformation project, which could cost up to $1.5 billion over the next decade, is a juicy target for multinational ICT vendors.
IRD this week released a document on GETS seeking "expressions of interest for the provision of business transformation services".
The qualifying conditions seem to exclude most New Zealand providers from major roles. IRD is seeking responses from organisations that have managed overall design and implementation of $100 million or greater of a major transformational programme for a national-level taxation organisation.
Similar conditions apply for social policy programmes such as child support and student loans.
The department has specifically referenced multinational CapGemini, which, along with Ernst & Young and some other (unnamed) external providers, had assisted during the planning stages of the transformation programme.
The document says that IRD may permit any provider to participate in further procurements, subject to probity requirements. It says Inland Revenue had decided not to exclude CapGemini, even though the department was aware that CapGemini's involvement in the concept and scope phases may have given a perception the company had an advantage. Ernst & Young, on the other hand, had been engaged on the understanding that it would be excluded from the procurement process.
United Future leader Peter Dunne, the former Revenue Minister, has expressed concern that local IT firms are being shut out of a lead role in the transformation programme.
As minister, he oversaw the development of the programme from its conception in 2010 until his resignation in June.
Dunne says in a press release that it was always his intention that local firms would have a major role in the process, and he will be extremely disappointed is this is not now to be the case.
"All the work we did in developing and strengthening Inland Revenue's relationships and working links with the local IT industry were about preparing for the role they could play in the business transformation programme," he says.
"I was always for giving them the opportunity to show what they were capably of, and said so on may occasions. I also understood this was the view of the Prime Minister."