[LINK] Race is on for carbon offset work

Tom Worthington Tom.Worthington at tomw.net.au
Wed Jan 21 08:28:22 AEDT 2009

At 02:41 PM 20/01/2009, Bernard Robertson-Dunn wrote:
>The Federal Government decided to review its procurement, so it did 
>the Gershon review. ... Because of the hold, for the first half of 
>Fin Year 2008/09 the rate of IT spend in Canberra has been well down 
>on plan. ... In the next month or so the hold will come off and 
>departments will be panicking to spend ...

Given the Australian Government is short of money and wants to reduce 
its carbon emissions, the logical thing to do would be to stop the 
departments doing panic spending. Where spending is justified, it 
could minimise cost and emissions by using the minimum of equipment.

As an example, the newspaper article you cite ("Race is on for carbon 
offset work", Karen Dearne, January 20, 2009 The Australian IT 
mentions 20 new IT projects for the Department of Climate Change to 
get online trading and oversight of emissions permits. This need not 
involve a large spend on hardware, as the trading system will be a 
tiny one, compared to something like the Australian Stock Exchange. 
The trading system hardware would fit in a couple of pizza box size 
units. It might make sense to run it on someone else's hardware, 
rather than the Department of Climate Change, which will not have 
experience in running such a system.

Similarly, the regulator will need a system to do its business, but 
this need not be a separate computer system, nor one located on the 
Department's premises. The regulator need not have a big office full 
of desks with PCs on each. Given the regulator is to regulate an 
industry, the staff could be issued with low power portable equipment 
and sent out to the industry they are regulating. Their office would 
only accommodate the secretariat and the other staff would assemble 
occasionally at shared meeting rooms.

For bespoke software development the Department might like to adopt 
the approach the Australian Research Council (ARC) took with 
its  Research Management System. This uses executable translatable 
UML. That could be very useful for clarifying what is needed in a new 
and emerging area and avoiding lots of code cutting. The Department 
might even borrow the ARC in-house team 

Tom Worthington FACS HLM tom.worthington at tomw.net.au Ph: 0419 496150
Director, Tomw Communications Pty Ltd            ABN: 17 088 714 309
PO Box 13, Belconnen ACT 2617                      http://www.tomw.net.au/
Adjunct Senior Lecturer, Australian National University  

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