B.C. hands revenue collection to EDS

The B.C. government is awarding EDS Advanced Solutions with a massive, 10-year outsourcing contract that will eventually see the services firm streamline more than 40 of the province’s revenue-collecting systems.

As of this month, EDS Advanced Solutions, a subsidiary of EDS Canada, will take ownership of the business processes behind the tracking of revenue, as well as for the financial IT systems that underlay them. By doing so, EDS says it can save the B.C. government $38 million a year over the course of the 10 years. With those savings (to be split by EDS and B.C.), plus the investment in financial systems, the contract could be worth as much as $572 million.

British Columbia’s department of Provincial Revenue awarded the contract to help it comply with its own Revenue Management Project initiative, which called for a consolidation of the tax and money-collecting arms of the province, many of which had no means to communicate with each other.

“(It’s) the whole gamut of billing to remittance to following up on overdue accounts,” said Al Hurd, president of EDS Advanced Solutions in Victoria.

Not only will EDS overhaul processes, it will also update the scattered system of legacy applications that now house revenue-collecting data with financial software from SAP AG. “That’s not to be underestimated,” Hurd said.

Around 200 government staff will also be transferred to EDS, pending “take-up offers.” “Initially they will do what they were doing,” Hurd said. But all will undergo additional training. “We can do a whole lot better in the collection process.”

EDS will also help the province better adhere to the province’s privacy laws. The province will maintain ownership of all personal information, no data may be stored or accessed from outside of Canada; a dedicated security and compliance officer must oversee personal information protection; and all directors on the board of EDS Advanced Solutions must be resident Canadians.

Hurd said the biggest challenge facing EDS is simply following through on its commitment.

“We’ll deliver the benefits we’re talking about,” he said. “That’s the risk – if we don’t deliver that.”

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