The cost of Victoria’s Covid-19 vaccination management system quietly doubled to $ 18 million after the state government chose to extend its deal with Microsoft by six months.
The contract is now worth three times higher than when the state first signed up to use the tech giant’s end-to-end vaccination registration and administration solution in January 2021.
Victoria uses the system to manage the delivery of jabs in settings such as the mass vaccination hub, which has seen a surge in demand for boosters in recent weeks in response to the Omicron variant.
The Department of Health enlisted Microsoft to provide the cloud-based platform behind the state’s vaccine system following a “rapid review process” in January 2021 at an initial cost of $ 5.8 million.
The contract ran for six months, during which the department paid another $ 3.3 million for additional system capabilities and enhancements – a 30 percent increase over the original price.
This was extended by an additional six months when the deal expires in June 2021, deleting the contract until the end of December.
At the time, the department refused to disclose the updated contract to Microsoft or publish it on the Buying for Victoria tendering website, as announced by iTnews in October ..
The department has now updated an existing offering on the Buy for Victoria website, whose contract now shows that Microsoft will pay $ 18 million over the life of the 18-month deal.
The new amount means the system will spend the government less than $ 9 million during the 2020-21 fiscal year, which is much larger than other vaccination management systems in states of similar size.
The cost of NSW’s vaccine management system, for example, has not increased since NSW Health signed a two-year contract with ServiceNow to replace a stop-gap solution in May 2021.
According to the NSW tendering website, the deal for the vaccination administration management (VAM) platform, used in state-run vaccination centers, is still at $ 6.3 million.
Microsoft in July – at a time when vaccine doses through mass vaccination hubs reached 1.1 million – said Victoria’s Covid -19 vaccination management system had been used to deliver more than a million vaccines.
According to the latest data released by the Victorian government on Thursday, more than 5.6 million doses of the vaccine have now been delivered to Victorians through state-run vaccination hubs.
The Victoria Department of Health is a heavy user of the Microsoft stack as part of its ‘platform + agile’ strategy, which it adopted in 2017 to replace traditional waterfall approaches to software development.
That program evolved from a project in 2016 to deliver Australia’s first fully online application for social housing placements, a service also available on the federal government’s myGov portal.