The Federal Government has flagged plans to invest in more than three dozen small technology projects as it makes good on its promise to plough savings eked out after Sir Peter Gershon’s review of government technology spending back into the public sector.
In tonight’s Budget papers, the Government said it would provide $113.6 million over four years from the Information and Communication technology Business-as-Usual Reinvestment Fund (which is composed of half of the claimed Gershon savings) to support the development of 41 minor ICT projects — although we couldn’t find all of them in the budget papers.
The projects would actually result in eventual savings of $1.7 million, the budget papers claimed, due to their ability to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of agencies ICT business as usual activities.
Probably the biggest benefactor from the Gershon dollars was the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, which will have $40 million of its new $100.8 million passport IT system funded from that $113.6 million. Further information about the initiative can be found in the department’s media release on the matter.
Second cab off the Gershon rank was the Department of Finance and Deregulation’s project to consolidate datacentre procurement and usage arrangements across the whole of the Federal public sector. That strategy will win $11.9m from the Gershon account over three years. The Government has estimated that it will achieve efficiencies of around $1 billion from the strategy over the next 10 to 15 years.
Regular Budget ICT winner Centrelink will pick up $14.7m to be spent on virtualisation technology from the Gershon account, as well as $8m on ICT shared services as part of its new role providing services to the broader Human Services portfolio.
Finance won Gershon funds to redevelop its Central Budget Management System — a platform which underpins the budget and financial management of the Federal Government. However, the budget papers stated that the amount to be invested would not be for publication for “commercial confidentiality reasons”.
A number of other minor projects won funding from the Gershon account.
The Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry picked up $900,000 for an identity lifecycle management solution and $800,000 for a thin client solution for regional areas, ASIC won $5.1m for a new datacentre strategy, the Bureau of Meteorology got $500,000 for software, $2m for virtualisation, and $900,000 for an upgrade of its business system applications and Geoscience Australia got $2.9 million for storage facilities.
Lastly, Insolvency and Trustee Services Australia won $100,000 for email archiving and $400,000 for improvements to its Debt Agreement Service, Medicare picked up $3.6 million for minor enhancements to its pathology claims systems and $2m to remove hard coding from its assessment systems, and the National Native Title Tribunal got $100,000 for a document management system and $200,000 for an IP telephony platform.
Image credit: Office of Lindsay Tanner