Best Card Solution Winner: New South Wales State Government (NSW Treasury Corp)

Published: Apr 2021

Brendan Faitrouni

Business Transition Lead, Banking and Financial Services Division

Tony Brown

Transition Director, Banking and Financial Services Division, Policy & Budget

The Government of New South Wales, known as the NSW Government, is the Australian state democratic administrative authority of New South Wales. It is currently held by a coalition of the Liberal Party and the National Party.

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NSW Government transitions to P-card solution

The challenge

In a drive to improve operational efficiencies throughout its 142 Government agencies, the NSW Government undertook a state-wide banking transformation, which included switching to an innovative commercial card solution. This transition presented significant challenges as it required the movement of more than 30,000 cardholders to a new banking provider.

Cardholders and the underlying programme administrators were required to learn how to operate under new purchasing card (P-card) arrangements with digital processes. In addition, the varied expense management systems (EMS) across Government clusters would require configuration and firewall development to effectively align with the bank’s systems.

The solution

Following extensive consultation with their chosen bank, Citi, and after an exhaustive market-review process, the NSW Government established the following objectives for the new commercial cards programme:

  • Improved administrative efficiency through a standardised model of P-card arrangements.
  • Reduced costs through economies of scale and a more consistent whole-of-Government approach to P-card management.
  • Improved productivity through better data management and issue resolution.
  • Delivery of operational efficiencies and enhanced cardholder experience through digital self-serve capabilities for cardholder and programme administrators (PAs).

Best practice and innovation

In order to overcome the significant change management challenges associated with transitioning the NSW Government’s agencies and employees to the new platform, the bank’s implementation team, along with the sales team, conducted discovery sessions across the Government’s ten shared service centres. This change management impact assessment enabled the bank to gain a deeper understanding of the people, processes and technologies prior to the transition.

Following the discovery process, the NSW Government’s P-card transition team held workshops across ten clusters where existing arrangements and financial processes were identified. Information gathered from each of these methods and sources were analysed, with the findings collated into a formal Change Management Strategy document. Further solution workshops also educated employees on how to use the online tool and other reporting tools available to cardholders and administrators, which digitised many of the previous manual processes.

Throughout the implementation, progress was tracked against agreed-upon framework milestones. Project governance included layers of oversight by a project team, a team of senior representatives and a P-Card Steering Committee, all of which had representation from both the bank and the NSW Government. The P-Card Steering Committee was responsible for overall oversight and direction of the transition. The Steering Committee advocated the benefits from delivery of the transition throughout the NSW Government, while ensuring the initiative was aligned to the Government’s strategic objectives.

A strong relationship between the NSW Government’s banking team and the bank’s implementation managers, coupled with a clearly defined governance structure, allowed for effective oversight, and formed the foundation for the successful completion of the transition.

Key benefits

More than 95% of the Government’s 30,000 cards were transitioned to the bank within six months of signing the agreement, which is a remarkably short time frame.

  • Estimated increase in card-based spend by 10%.
  • Reduced administration time, fewer calls, and fewer query resolutions.
  • Estimated reduction of 3.25 hours per year per cardholder on activities such as card retrieval, PIN retrieval, disputes, and customer service calls.
  • Standardisation of P-card programme across Government agencies.
  • Improved data analytics.

“This is an excellent milestone for the State in that the implementation of Citi purchasing cards allows the NSW Government to tap into new technologies and the expertise of a leading international bank to better serve the people,” explained Roger Habib, NSW Treasury Transformation and Change Leader.

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Scott Southall

Managing Director, Innovation and Commercial Cards Head of APAC, Cluster Head AU/NZ, Treasury & Trade Solutions

The strong collaboration between New South Wales Government and Citi ensured that both parties had a deep understanding of the requirements for a card programme, which helped to develop the end solution and built the foundation for a successful transition. The implementation of the Citi Commercial Card programme has been an overwhelming success for the New South Wales Government. The digital card management platform, CitiManager® has delivered greater control and self-service tools for New South Wales Government Cardholders and Programme Administrators, offering a better end-user experience and improved overall efficiency.

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