[LINK] Government ICT spend swells to $5 billion
brd at iimetro.com.au
Mon Apr 18 15:18:47 EST 2005
In the ANAO Audit Report No.9 20002001, Performance Audit it says:
5. In anticipation of savings being realised from whole-of- Government
IT consolidation and outsourcing, reductions were made to the forward
estimates of Budget-funded agencies in the 1997-98 Budget. The
reductions totalled $37.9 million in 1998-99, $87 million in 1999-00,
and on-going annual reductions in agency budgets of $99.2 million from
2000-01. The Budget reductions were based on the conclusions of a 1997
evaluation of IT consolidation and outsourcing conducted jointly by the
(then) Office for Government Information Technology (OGIT) and
Department of Finance (DOF). If specific tender processes result in
savings in excess of these reductions, the additional savings are
retained by agencies. If the tender processes result in lower savings,
agencies must fund the difference internally. In 1997, the Government
estimated that the IT Initiative would result in savings of
approximately $1 billion over seven years.
So Fahey was going to save $1billion over seven years - but they are now
spending $1billion per year extra.
And - the government, expecting to make the savings, reduced
department's budgets. So where has the money come from? At the expense
of something else, probably.
So it's interesting that Senator Eric Abetz, from DoFA, is ignoring
DoFA's fiascos of the past and putting the usual happy spin on things.
BTW, I'm not suggesting that Government departments should not be
spending more on IT - if they get commensurate benefits.
Government ICT spend swells to $5 billion
Federal government spending on ICT has shot up 20 percent over the last
12 to 18 months, with special Minister of State Senator Eric Abetz
revealing it is now "investing" around $5 billion a year on the
Speaking today at the launch of the Australian Government Information
Management Office (AGIMO) Guide to open source software at the Open
Computing in Government conference in Canberra, Abetz said "the
government's annual investment in ICT is in the vicinity of $5 billion a
year. Of this, between 15 and 20 percent is new spending.
The figure constitutes a rise of around $1 billion from the previously
held Department of Finance ICT spending estimate of between $4.0 billion
and $4.2 billion a year and underscores Canberra's position as the
single biggest IT spender in Australia.
True to form, Abetz again used the opportunity to reiterate his stated
position that the federal government will not be taken for a
taxpayer-subsidized ride by vendors seeking to inveigle agencies into
contractual lock-ins by reducing up-front costs.
To this end, Abetz cited what is increasingly sounding like a new
government procurement doctrine in the form of "informed neutrality"
whereby agencies are firmly encouraged by AGIMO best practice guidelines
to think outside of purely proprietary procurement models .
"In looking at value, agencies need to consider the total cost of
ownership over the life of the software, not just the up-front cost.
These principles apply to all software purchasing decisions, whether
proprietary or open source.
"The government's approach therefore is one of informed neutrality. It
allows open source and proprietary software to operate in a neutral,
competitive environment," he said.
This includes the government developing its own solutions and software
based on non-proprietary code bases - including the retention of
intellectual property - where such solutions provide the best value for
Computerworld is currently seeking comment from federal shadow IT
spokesman Stephen Conroy, and Microsoft.
Every age sort of has its own history. History is really the stories
that we retell to ourselves to make them relevant to every age. So we
put our own values and our own spin on it.
-- Terry Jones
brd at iimetro.com.au
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