[LINK] Gershon report made public

Bernard Robertson-Dunn brd at iimetro.com.au
Thu Oct 16 20:06:11 EST 2008

I've only had a quick look at the report and it's quite predictable.

It's all about procurement and reducing the cost of technology. I can't 
find anything about using Information Systems to improve government 
service delivery. Rather sad really.

Governments come and governments go but the econocrats live on.

Gershon report made public
Karen Dearne
October 16, 2008
Australian IT

Peter Gershon, the head of Finance Minister Lindsay Tanner's ICT razor 
gang, has recommended a "major program of administrative reform and 
cultural change" to slash costs across the $16 billion annual computer 
and communications spend by federal government agencies.

Sir Peter, who earned a knighthood and reputation as a toe-cutter for 
his reform of the British public sector under Tony Blair, says a 
"business as usual" approach to IT funding is masking inefficiencies, 
while agency control over spending decisions has led to fragmentation 
and duplication of ICT infrastructure.

His recommendations include creating a whole of government master plan 
for data centres with the aim of saving a $1 billion over 10 years; 
forcing large agencies with ICT spends of more than $20 million a year 
(excluding Defence) to reduce their business-as-usual ICT budgets by 15 
percent a year and smaller agencies by 7.5 percent.

Sir Peter believes these reductions would deliver savings of $140 
million in the first year and $400 million a year in subsequent years. 
He recommends reinvesting half of the savings into a central fund to 
improve efficiency through strategies such as legacy system replacement 

"The current model is very close to treating federal government agencies 
as though they were independent private sector entities," Sir Peter sai. 
"The agencies are, however, very different in a number of aspects.

"They are funded by the taxpayer, they cannot go bankrupt, they have 
very little or nothing of the 'time = money' dynamic of the private 
sector, and they have no simple bottom line outcomes against which their 
success or failure can be measured."

Sir Peter recommends establishing a Ministerial Committee on ICT to be 
responsible for a new whole-of-government approach to policies and 
procurement, as well as an overall strategic vision for how IT and 
communications should support the Government's wider agenda.

Mr Tanner said the Rudd Government had decided to release the report 
ahead of formal Cabinet consideration.

"The proposed model details seven critical areas where we can gain 
greater benefits from, and improve the effectiveness of, our ICT 
investments," he said.

"Without pre-empting Cabinet's consideration, the report forms an 
excellent basis for implementing a series of changes."

Mr Tanner said the Government would respond to the report "in the near 

The Gershon review can be found at 
www.finance.gov.au/publications/ict-review/index.html or the PDF version


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

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