• Great articles on other sites
  • RSS Great articles on other sites

  • Blog, Enterprise IT - Written by on Thursday, January 17, 2013 16:53 - 3 Comments

    A round-up of 2012 in government IT

    Canberra Australia Parliament House Twilight

    blog It’s 2013 already (I know, I know, it’s not yet formally 2013 in Australia until after Australia Day, but still), but as we think about the year ahead in public sector technology projects, it’s worth giving ourselves a quick refresher course in what happened last year. Most of the articles posted by government IT research house Intermedium are behind its paywall, but this excellent round-up of 2012 in government IT isn’t, and is worth a read — we recommend you spend a few minutes with it. A sample paragraph with reference to the ongoing disaster situation in Queensland:

    “The Bligh Labor Government’s high profile ICT failures formed a key part of the Queensland Liberal-National Party campaign arsenal and the party wasted little time in launching a comprehensive audit of the State Government’s ICT functions and assets upon forming Government. The findings of the audit, which are yet to be made public, will shape Queensland’s ICT direction for at least the term of this Government …”

    To your writer’s mind, the biggest story in Australian government IT circles continues to be the growing body of evidence that our state governments have fundamental problems in basic IT service and project delivery. There is a very large body of analysis at this point (consisting of dozens of damning audit and ombudsman’s reports) that shows that our states simply cannot reliably deliver IT services themselves and cannot deliver on IT projects of any size. Plus their IT infrastructure is horribly insecure and billions of dollars of taxpayers’ money is being wasted, with little to show for it.

    Some of the state governments (notably Queensland, NSW and Victoria) have started to address the issue, but this is going to be a biggie for at least the next decade. We’re just getting started, and I’m sure there will be a lot of news on this front in 2013. Personally, I believe much of what has been reported so far is only the tip of the iceberg in terms of what’s really going on beneath the surface.

    submit to reddit


    You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

    1. Steve Hodgkinson, Research Director IT Asia/Pacific, Ovum
      Posted 18/01/2013 at 1:46 pm | Permalink | Reply

      The Victorian government published an economic statement just prior to Christmas which sheds a little light on the future direction for ICT, here is the link:


      While somewhat hidden in the text, the statement presages a major change in the focus of in-house ICT delivery/shared services vs. sourcing ICT services from the private sector … and explicitly refers to CenITex as being one of the first agencies to be tested against a contestable service provision approach.

      Stay tuned for more insights when the Victorian ICT Strategy is published … which must be coming up soon.

      In the meantime … here are the relevant paragraphs quoted from the economic statement:

      (1) On page 47:

      “The Government’s vision for public sector reform involves controlling costs, reducing internal red tape and improving management within the public sector. It also involves delivering services efficiently and in new and innovative ways that prioritise the community’s needs.

      The Government will scrutinise the efficiency of all government agencies, focusing initially on those providing mandated services to business or regulating the private sector for a fee or charge. The quantitative reasonableness of fees and charges will be examined against enhanced cost recovery principles, aiming to drive down charges through efficiencies. The Government will also examine whether and which (if any) internal services can be more efficiently provided by the private sector or made more contestable. Initial candidates will be CenITex and the Victorian Managed Insurance Authority (VMIA)”.

      (2) And on page 49:

      “Government will use market mechanisms to drive down unit price and increase information and communications technology (ICT) system and service innovation. Government will favour shorter contract terms and open standards to increase competition and guard against technology lock in or single vendors securing a disproportionate share of government business.

      At the infrastructure level, Government will progressively withdraw from direct ICT service delivery. The Government will determine the mix of insourced, managed and outsourced service delivery which is most cost effective, most responsive to business needs and which best leverages the expertise and opportunities available in the market.

      Projects with significant ICT requirements will be designed, delivered and measured based on clearly articulated business benefits with accountability clearly defined and allocated at appropriate management levels. Large projects will be broken into smaller, more manageable stages to improve delivery timelines and reduce the risk of project failure.”

      • Posted 18/01/2013 at 2:46 pm | Permalink | Reply

        Very interesting, Steve — thanks for the heads-up. I will check this out.

    2. Posted 18/01/2013 at 1:46 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Our Government in QLD is a pretty big basket case. I dont expect this fixed for at least the next two terms of Government here.

    Leave a Comment


  • Get our 'Best of the Week' newsletter on Fridays

    Just the most important stories, one email a week.

    Email address:

    Follow us on social media

    Use your RSS reader to subscribe to our articles feed or to our comments feed.

  • Most Popular Content

  • Enterprise IT stories

    • Super funds close to dumping $250m IT revamp facepalm2

      If you have even a skin deep awareness of the structure of Australia’s superannuation industry, you’ll be aware that much of the underlying infrastructure used by many of the nation’s major funds is provided by a centralised group, Superpartners. One of the group’s main projects in recent years has been to dramatically update and modernise its IT platform — its version of a core banking platform overhaul. Unfortunately, the $250 million project has not precisely been going well.

    • Qld’s Grant joins analyst firm IBRS peter-grant

      This week it emerged that Peter Grant, the two-time former Queensland Whole of Government CIO (pictured), has joined well-regarded analyst firm Intelligent Business Research Services (IBRS). We’ve long had a high regard for IBRS, and so it’s fantastic to see such an experienced executive join its ranks.

    • Westpac dumps desk phones for Samsung Android mobiles samsung-galaxy-ace-3

      The era of troublesome desk phones tied to physical locations is gradually coming to an end in many workplaces, with mobile phones becoming increasingly popular as organisations’ main method of voice telecommunications. But some groups are more advanced than others when it comes to adoption of the trend. One of those is Westpac.

    • Ministers’ cloud approval lasted just a year reverse

      Remember how twelve months ago, the Federal Government released a new cloud computing security and privacy directive which required departments and agencies to explicitly acquire the approval of the Attorney-General and the relevant portfolio minister before government data containing private information could be stored in offshore facilities? Remember how the policy was strongly criticised by Microsoft, Government CIOs and Delimiter? Well, it looks like the policy is about to be reversed.

    • WA Govt can’t fund school IT upgrades oops key

      In news from The Department of Disturbing Facts, iTNews revealed late last week that Western Australia’s Department of Education has run out of money halfway through the deployment of new fundamental IT infrastructure to the state’s schools.

    • Turnbull outlines Govt ICT vision turnbull-5

      Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull has published an extensive article arguing that the Federal Government needed to do a better job of connecting with Australians via digital channels and that public sector IT projects needn’t cost the huge amounts that some have in the past.

    • NZ Govt pushes hard into cloud zealand

      New Zealand’s national Government announced a whole of government contract this morning for what it terms ‘Office Productivity as a Service’ services. This includes email and calendaring services, as well as file-sharing, mobility, instant messaging and collaboration services. The contract complements two existing contracts — Desktop as a Service and Enterprise Content Management as a Service.

    • CommBank reveals Harte’s replacement whiteing

      The Commonwealth Bank of Australia has promoted an internal executive who joined the bank in September after a lengthy career at petroleum giant VP and IT services group Accenture to replace its outgoing chief information officer Michael Harte, who announced in early May that he would leave the bank.

    • Jeff Smith quits Suncorp for IBM jeffsmith4

      Second-tier Australian bank and financial services group Suncorp today announced that its long-serving top technology executive Jeff Smith would leave to take up a senior role with IBM in the United States, in an announcement which marks the end of an era for the nation’s banking IT sector.

    • Small business missing the mobile, social, cloud revolution iphone-stock

      Most companies that live and breathe the online revolution are not tech startups, but smart smaller firms that use online tools to run their core business better: to cut costs, reach customers and suppliers, innovate and get more control. Many others, however, are falling behind, according to a new Grattan Institute discussion paper.

  • Blog, Enterprise IT - Jul 5, 2014 13:53 - 0 Comments

    Super funds close to dumping $250m IT revamp

    More In Enterprise IT

    Blog, Telecommunications - Jul 5, 2014 12:12 - 0 Comments

    What should the ACCC’s role be in guiding infrastructure spending?

    More In Telecommunications

    Analysis, Industry, Internet - Jun 23, 2014 10:33 - 0 Comments

    ‘Google Schmoogle’ – how Yellow Pages got it so wrong

    More In Industry

    Blog, Digital Rights - Jun 30, 2014 22:24 - 0 Comments

    Will Netflix launch in Australia, or not?

    More In Digital Rights