ARIES Memorandum of Information

By Diane Wright,2014-04-11 05:04
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Allow DFID to meet more easily the requirements of Resource Accounting and Budgeting (RAB) and which no longer meets the organisation's corporate needs.

DFID MoI v1 - Final

    ARIES: Memorandum of Information

    ARIES is the generic title that has been given to the core system that will replace DFID’s existing financial, procurement, management information and reporting systems. It stands for Activities Reporting & Information e-System.

Information on DFID

    Information on DFID is available from the DFID web site Including information about

    the goals and work of DFID and the countries/ regions in which we operate and have offices.

Procurement Process for ARIES

    The procurement will use the Negotiated Procedure under the Public Services Contract Regulations 1993. The aim will be to contract using an output-based statement of requirements with a prime contractor to act as product supplier and implementer (i.e. to act as our Implementation Partner).

    DFID is keen to seek suppliers’ views (including innovative proposals) on how our needs can best be met. We are requesting suppliers to provide details of possible outline solutions in their Expressions of Interest based on the high level requirements provided in the Pre-Qualification Questionnaire (PQQ). You have the flexibility, however, to amend the proposed solution set after reviewing the full specification of requirements that will be issued to long-listed bidders at ITN stage.

Key Milestones with target dates

    The key milestones, and documents, together with target dates are shown in the flow chart below:

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    DFID MoI v1 - Final

    ?OJEC Noticeend January 04?QuestionnaireOJEC Notice placed?other information (web-based)

    ?Evaluation criteriaAprilEOIs received and siftedand scoring matrix

    ?Supplier long list report

    June?output based specificationLong- list prepared and ITN issued?request for proposals

    ?draft contract

    ?Note of points?Bidders Meetingraised at meetingproposals from long listed bidders


    Evaluation ReportShort list prepared

    Identify areas of proposals that require

    further clarification and meet

    During this time there will beshortlisted suppliers

    supplier demonstrations, reference

    site visits and meetings to discuss

    implementation approach andrepeatAsk for revised proposals for areastechnical issues. Increasingly thisas requiredwill be driven by negotiation on theidentifiedvarious schedules attached to the


    Consideration/evaluation of proposals

    Feb 05

    Best and Final Offer (BAFO)

    Report and recommendation toFinal EvaluationProject Board

    Gateway ThreeMay 05

    Award ContractSigned Contract

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DFID MoI v1 - Final

The ARIES (Activities Reporting and e-Information System) Project

Objectives of ARIES

The overall objectives of the ARIES project are to:

    ? Enable implementation of a more effective, redesigned MIS coding structure to report on


    ? Provide a common platform i.e. look and feel for users; improve the user friendliness of DFID

    systems; and provide enhanced functionality and capability to assist users in their day to day

    work in terms of delivering DFID’s goals and objectives.

    ? Improve the integration of systems within DFID; reducing data duplication; and improving the

    information environment, the extent and quality of management information and the ability to

    respond to Parliamentary Questions and ad hoc enquiries.

    ? Improve the manageability of the information systems infrastructure through reducing the number

    of systems.

    ? Support redesign of business and financial processes to improve effectiveness and efficiency.

    ? Allow DFID to meet more easily the requirements of Resource Accounting and Budgeting (RAB)

    and Whole of Government Accounts (WGA).

ARIES Outputs & Deliverables

    ARIES will deliver the following outputs (the role of the successful bidder to act as Implementation

    partner is also shown):

    Primary responsibility for delivery of this ? A coding structure and definition of relevant parts of the

    output rests with DFID, though the corporate data model for use as a standard for all DFID

    Implementation Partner will be able to system developments.

    input to its finalisation.

    ? Information technology systems and software to support

    Implementation Partner the DFID core financial, procurement and performance

    management functions.

    ? Processes for the operation of the new systems. Implementation Partner will support DFID ? Organisational design and training products to support in delivery of these outputs. the delivery of the new processes.

    Implementation Partner will support DFID ? Rolled-out system and processes

    in delivery of these outputs.

    Implementation Partner ? Ongoing support and maintenance

Background to ARIES

DFID needs to implement a new management information and reporting system to replace the

    Management Information System (MIS), which no longer meets the organisation’s corporate needs. This

    will involve the redesign of the underlying coding structure, and given the extent of the change required,

    the programme will result in the major upgrade and/or replacement of a number of DFID’s central IT


The need for the ARIES project has been driven by a number of factors:

    ? A requirement to replace the MIS code and system;

    ? DFID’s e-Business Strategy;

    ? DFID’s Public Service Agreement and Service Delivery Agreement;

    ? DFID’s ICT Strategy;

    ? The fragmentation of the existing financial, management information and reporting systems;

    ? Resource Accounting & Budgeting;

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DFID MoI v1 - Final

    ? Whole of Government Accounts; and

    ? The Modernising Government Agenda.

The ARIES project is a major undertaking, and is recognised by the Management Board as being of

    critical importance to the future management of DFID, as well as the control and evaluation of the use of

    financial and other resources. The existing MIS code and associated systems are sub-optimal in that

    they are failing to meet DFID’s financial, management information and reporting needs.

The scope of the project is to provide a replacement code and to rationalise the underlying IT systems to

    meet DFID’s financial, procurement, reporting and performance management needs for the foreseeable

    future - taking account of the many external factors influencing the development. In broad terms the

    project will encompass the following generic activities across DFID (in both the UK and overseas):

    ? Financial accounting (including accounts payable and general ledger)

    ? Management of project/activities databases

    ? Statistical and management reporting (internal and external)

    ? Budgeting and forecasting of expenditure

    ? Procurement of goods and services

DFID would expect bidders to cover these requirements in their completed pre-qualification

    questionnaires and a further breakdown of these heading is listed in the questionnaire.

The geographic scope of ARIES is illustrated in Annex A with the locations of DFID staff. Please note

    that these are subject to change as the requirements for aid delivery change, therefore the proposed

    solution must be flexible in this regard.

The ARIES project will also need to take into account ongoing developments, reviews and initiatives

    within DFID or Whitehall more generally (where they will impact on DFID’s core systems e.g. adoption of

    the Euro).

Case for Investment

    The ARIES Business Case and supporting documentation identifies the benefits that are expected to

    accrue to DFID in the longer term. Without ARIES, DFID’s existing operational procedures and coding

    structure will become increasingly difficult to maintain, ultimately culminating in a lack of accuracy, control and timely management information. Increasing resources will need to be allocated to systems and IT

    support and the preparation of Resource Accounts, as well as undertaking additional checks on data

    quality and integrity using unwieldy manual procedures.

The shortcomings of the existing systems are felt most acutely by those working in the key support areas

    such as Finance Department, Accounts Department and Statistical Reporting Support Group (because

    the presentation of financial, statistical and management data is highly dependent on systems generated

    outputs), but there is a widespread view throughout the office that our IT systems are slow, overly

    fragmented and non-user friendly.

The Business Case identifies a number of benefits that will be derived through the implementation of a

    new MIS code regardless of which implementation option is selected. These are classified under three

    broad headings:

    ? Strategic benefits - covering areas such as the successful delivery of the e-business strategy

    and Modernising Government agenda;

    ? Regulatory benefits - covering our statutory obligations for financial, statistical, and Parliamentary

    reporting; and

    ? User benefits - covering systems improvements that will impact on user groups across DFID

    (both in HQ and overseas) by making our systems easier and faster to use and providing better

    support through improved reporting. In addition it is anticipated that a wide range of

    improvements to DFID’s operational processes will be possible as a result of the new systems.

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DFID MoI v1 - Final

    Links to Catalyst:

    ARIES forms a component part of the wider “Catalyst” Programme within DFID. Catalyst is an expansive

    programme of IT enabled business change, designed to enhance DFID’s corporate capability to deliver

    on its commitment to contribute to the delivery of the internationally agreed Millennium Development

    Goals. It combines work already underway across the organisation into an integrated delivery

    programme for improving DFID’s operations. Its high level goal is to free up staff and other resources

    that could be more effectively deployed delivering the Public Service Agreement (PSA).

Catalyst will provide the broad framework under which a number of DFID business change initiatives,

    including those generated by ARIES, will be taken forward. These will include all aspects of business

    process reengineering, developing appropriate communication strategies for individual projects within

    Catalyst and managing the organisational and cultural changes required. The overarching Catalyst

    framework will also cover issues such as the timetabling and sequencing of events within these DFID

    wide workstreams.

The other key systems developments coming within the Catalyst framework are QUEST (the new

    electronic document management system), and REBUS (the new personnel and payroll system) together

    with a number of smaller infrastructure projects.

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DFID MoI v1 - Final

    Annex A


UK Offices

    There are three DFID offices in the UK with staff numbers as follows:

    ? 852 in Palace Street, London;

    ? 33 in Victoria Street, London;

    ? 518 in Abercrombie House, East Kilbride.

Overseas Offices

    There are 69 overseas offices with around 1,500 employees working in these offices. The current

    locations are as follows:

    Afghanistan Guyana Russia Angola Honduras Rwanda Anguilla India Senegal Australia Indonesia Serbia Bangladesh Iraq Sierra Leone Barbados Israel Solomon Islands Belgium Italy South Africa Belize Jamaica Sri Lanka Bolivia Kenya St Helena Brazil Kosovo Sudan Burundi Kyrgyzstan Switzerland Cambodia Lesotho Tanzania Cameroon Luxembourg Thailand Canada Malawi Tunisia China Montserrat Turks & Caicos Is. Congo Mozambique Uganda Costa Rica Namibia Ukraine D.R. Congo Nepal USA Ethiopia New Zealand Vietnam Fiji Nicaragua Windward Islands France Nigeria Yemen Gambia Pakistan Zambia Ghana Peru Zimbabwe

In addition, DFID has a presence in the following UK Embassies:

    Albania Georgia Poland Armenia Hungary Romania Azerbaijan Jordan Slovak Rep Bosnia-Hertz Kazakhstan Slovenia Bulgaria Latvia Tajikistan Croatia Lithuania Turkmenistan Czech Rep Macedonia Uzbekistan Estonia Moldova

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