[LINK] Cost shock puts school PCs at risk - was Computers for schools more than hardware

Bernard Robertson-Dunn brd at iimetro.com.au
Mon Jun 23 15:46:04 AEST 2008

Bernard Robertson-Dunn wrote:

> A word of warning here, based upon my experience in IT outsourcing. 
> Most of the cost is in addition to the initial hardware costs of the 
> individual machines. Without knowing your proposed network, server, 
> support and funding model (ie you have to assume that these things 
> will get replaced at end of life) it is not possible to come up with 
> very accurate numbers. However, I would suggest you start with a 
> minimum total system cost of five to ten times the cost of the initial 
> user hardware.

Cost shock puts school PCs at risk
Kerry-Anne Walsh
Political Correspondent
June 22, 2008

A brawl is brewing between the NSW and Federal governments over the 
education revolution, risking the roll-out of thousands of computers to 
NSW schools.

Other Labor states are warning the Federal Government that its pledge to 
spend $1.2billion on computers for schools could cost the states up to 
four times that to implement.

A week ago NSW schools were awarded $75million in the first funding 
round of federal Labor's promise to give every upper secondary school 
student a computer. A little more than $56million of that went to 302 
NSW government schools.

But NSW number-crunchers have assessed that to implement the round one 
roll-out to its state schools, it needs $59.1million in capital and 
$28million in recurrent funding from the Commonwealth. NSW Labor has 
warned its federal counterparts it will not help them honour their 
election commitments.

The NSW budget reveals a line that it was prepared "on the basis that 
the Commonwealth fully pays for all legitimate and additional state 
costs in implementing the Commonwealth Government's election commitments".

A spokesman for the office of the NSW Education Minister said the state 
was negotiating the additional support required. "Not enough work has 
been done around the support situation. That is what the negotiations 
are about."

But a federal source warned that NSW was jeopardising the program by 
seeking additional support.

"This is additional [education] funding from the Federal Government. 
What [the states] don't want to do is pick up any of the costs.

"Schools have been given allocations of computers based on their ability 
to use them. [The State Government] could have told schools not to apply 
for federal funding. What they are suggesting is we also pitch up for 
their other costs."

Federal Liberal education spokesman Tony Smith said the computers would 
not be used until the "massive additional costs" of installing, running 
and maintaining them were sorted out.

"Julia Gillard knows the federal money isn't close to being enough," he 
said. "If Kevin from Canberra won't pay and Morris from Sydney won't 
pay, it'll be the mums and dads of NSW secondary school students having 
to pay with higher school fees and special levies."

West Australian Premier Alan Carpenter bluntly told the Prime Minister 
his state would not meet the extra costs of installing and operating the 
computers. In March, he warned at a Council of Australian Government 
meeting that for every dollar the Commonwealth planned to spend, states 
would have to stump up three to four dollars for the extras.


Bernard Robertson-Dunn
Sydney Australia
brd at iimetro.com.au

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