blog Those of you with your eyes on public sector IT spending will no doubt be hanging out for next week’s Federal Budget, where there are always a few multi-million-dollar gems laid out in terms of big-spending IT packages. However, it’s not always the Federal Government which splurges on major IT projects, as this week’s budget in Victoria showed. According to a statement issued by the state’s IT Minister Gordon Rich-Phillips, there’s at least $19 million in the budget for major IT initiatives, as Victoria pushes towards meeting the goals outlined in its recent whole of government IT strategy. Rich-Phillips tells us:
“The ICT Strategy provides high-level direction on the use of ICT to deliver better government services and improve ICT management in Victoria and is supported by 50 specific actions,” Mr Rich-Phillips said. “New funding will allow us to deliver on the key actions as set out in the ICT strategy and implement new initiatives to improve industry engagement and outcomes in ICT procurement, as well as improving management of ICT projects.
“The allocation of $19 million over four years for technology in the 2013-14 Victorian State Budget also supports the extension of core initiatives under Victoria’s Technology Plan for the Future – Information and Communication Technology.“This includes support for growing our local companies and other industry development activities and ICT skills initiatives.
The Coalition Government is committed to a strong and competitive ICT industry in Victoria. Responsible financial management by the Coalition Government has enabled increased investment to further strengthen and grow capacity in Victoria’s ICT industry.
However, Rich-Phillips’ brief statement, according to iTNews, didn’t outline the total sum which Victoria actually allocated on technology in the budget. The site has tracked down a number of discrete IT spending packages in agencies ranging from the Port of Melbourne, to Melbourne Water to VicTrack and the Department of Justice. iTNews writes (we recommend you click here for the full article):
“Victoria’s emergency services, water utilities and transport agencies have emerged from this year’s state budget with money for IT projects.”
To be honest, it’s not really a surprise that the Victorian Government has a raft of major projects going on at the moment. Repeated audit and Ombudsman’s reports have shown that the state’s IT systems are in a major state of disrepair, with the state recently suffering major problems with IT project governance. The only question we have is: How effectively will the state use the millions of dollars of new funding allocated this week? Will much of that money end up flushed down the toilet as a result of failed, delayed, and over-budget IT projects? Only time will tell.