Alberta signs on dotted line with CGI

CGI Group Inc., has been awarded a $12 million contract to provide IT services for the Human Resources and Employment Ministry of the Alberta government.

Under the terms of the contract, CGI will begin providing maintenance for mainframe and Web-based platforms for programs that include labour relations, financial benefits, training and employment assistance and safe workplaces, beginning on Sept. 1, for a term of four years. This IT outsourcing contract was tendered after the previous one elapsed. The government is attempting to reduce IT outsourcing services down to one vendor, a decision that favoured CGI.

CGI has been providing IT outsourcing services for the Alberta government since the early 1990’s, according to Dean Bosch, Edmonton-based director, consultant services for CGI.

The Human Resources and Employment ministry is one of five departments that CGI currently provides IT outsourcing for. The other ministries include Health and Wellness, Revenue, Sustained Resource Development and Justice.

“It’s been our track record with outsourcing to create a service to meet the client’s needs that can be offered to the next client,” Bosch explained.

The Human Resources and Employment Ministry, a $1 billion-a-year operation, used seven criteria including, pricing, qualifications of company, approach, qualifications of primary team, qualifications of maintenance team, added value of company and transition time, according to Janice Schroeder, department spokesperson for Alberta Human Resources and Employment. The seven criteria were weighted differently with approach and qualifications of primary team being the most important, representing half the scoring total, while price factored in at 10 per cent, she added.

The IT outsourcing practice is providing a long-term business for CGI, with 77 per cent of the contracts that it is tendering spanning between three to 10 years, according to Eileen Murphy, director of communications with CGI. The service represents 72 per cent of CGI’s total business, with the remaining made up from consulting and system integration.

“The fact is…companies have evolved, particularly government … People were concerned with security … but more and more they are opening the floodgates to an IT partner,” Murphy said.

Along with its work for the Alberta government, CGI is also involved in the government online initiatives with both the federal and Ontario governments, Murphy said.