24 November 2008
Today the Rudd Government announced that it will implement in full the recommendations of Sir Peter Gershon’s review of the Government’s use of information and communications technology (ICT).
The Government will implement a package of targeted strategies and actions to improve the Commonwealth’s use of ICT for public administration and service delivery.
This decision forms part of Government’s ongoing Razor Gang process designed to improve the efficiency, effectiveness and coordination of government expenditure.
Lindsay Tanner, Minister for Finance and Deregulation, said: “This decision represents the most significant change in the use and management of ICT in the Australian Government to date. We will act decisively in applying Sir Peter’s recommendations.”
“The Review’s recommendations provide a new model for the effective and efficient use of ICT within the Australian Government. This is a turning point, rebalancing the highly-decentralised ICT administration in government and focusing on efficient and effective ICT expenditure and management.”
“The goal is to return efficiencies to the Budget and to reduce expenditure on ICT business-as-usual while freeing up money for service delivery capability.”
The Government will provide leadership on whole-of-government ICT issues at both Ministerial and top official levels by establishing a Ministerial ICT Committee as part of the Expenditure Review Committee to provide the strategic vision for ICT in support of government policies and programs.
The Government will reduce the number of ICT contractors by 50 per cent phased in over 2009, 2010 and 2011. This modifies the timeframe recommended in the review to align the schedule of reductions with other initiatives to build ICT capability within the Commonwealth.
ICT Review Teams will work with agencies to deliver reductions to agency “business as usual” ICT budgets, saving around $400M annually once fully implemented. Half of these savings will be reinvested to improve agency ICT capability.
Lindsay Tanner said: “This savings exercise will be done in a way that does not impede service delivery to citizens and businesses. Reductions averaging 15 per cent for larger agencies and 7.5 per cent for mid-sized agencies are expected and achievable.”
The staged roll out of the Review’s recommendation will commence immediately in line with the implementation strategy proposed by Sir Peter. The Department of Finance and Deregulation is working closely with agencies to implement the initiatives.
Lindsay Tanner said: “The Government’s review of ICT is one of a number of structural reforms being pursued by the Razor Gang. In challenging international economic circumstances, improving the efficiency and effectiveness of government spending enables resources to be allocated to those areas of greatest need and priority.”
The Government’s Razor Gang is tasked with improving the ongoing performance of government through a range of efficiency reforms.
The Government is committed to continuous reform and will continue the Razor Gang process into the 2009-10 Budget cycle.
More detail on the Review’s recommendations can be found at: http://www.finance.gov.au/e-government/strategy-and-governance/ict-review.html
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|Nardia Dazkiw - 0418 144 690||www.financeminister.gov.au|