Infosys scores another $40m for Centrelink payments engine build

Infosys has scored another $40 million for the build of the country’s new Centrelink payments calculation engine, bringing the total value of the overhaul to more than $200 million.

A batch of contracts relating to the work were published late last week, including one for ‘development services’ worth approximately $37 million to Infosys over the next year-and-a-half.

The contract is the second largest to date and follows a $142.6 million contract with Infosys for the main ‘end-to-end ICT solution’ last July when the project moved forward to the build phase.

Services Australia plans to use the entitlements calculation engine (ECE) solution to work out the entitlements eligibility of welfare recipients and how much to pay them later this year.

It will work hand-in-hand with the SAP-based centralised Payment Utility platform that has already been stood up under the billion-dollar welfare payments infrastructure transformation program (WPIT).

Services Australia general manager Hank Jongen told iTnews the procurement is the “next step in realising the reuse of the platform”, though declined to provide any further information on the contract.

“The Centrelink ECE project is currently in the build phase focusing on the realisation of age pension entitlement calculations this year,” he said.

Two smaller contracts for ‘development services’ and ‘software subscription’ were also published alongside the main development services on Thursday, worth a combined $3.3 million.

Infosys has been developing the ECE to replace Centrelink’s existing calculation engine since November 2019 after beating IBM and Accenture in a 13-week competitive dialogue process.

This initially involved reimagining the existing solution embedded in Centrelink’s legacy income security integrated system (ISIS) through a seven-month proof of design, which wrapped up in June last year.

Prior to commencing the build, Infosys estimated that around 280 staff would work on the project at its height.

The ECE is expected to run in parallel to ISIS at least initially, much the same as Payment Utility, which began administering two types of payments in November.

It will also eventually be used to calculate aged care payments, as well as veteran’s income support and Medicare payments, at a later date.

Last month, Services Australia revealed that it had now spent in excess of $1 billion redeveloping the Centrelink IT system, while total funding for WPIT stands at just under $1.6 billion.