[LINK] Effect of New Government on ICT in Canberra

Tom Worthington tom.worthington at tomw.net.au
Wed Sep 11 08:23:17 AEST 2013

Last night Scott Cass-Dunba, Director, IT Advisory, KPMG, talked on 
"Bigger than big data – the real trends reshaping IT in Canberra" at the 
Australian Computer Society Canberra Branch meeting.

Scott looked at the "The Coalition’s plan for the digital economy & 
e-Government" (Liberal party of Australia, 2013): 

He commented that many of the issues addressed by the new government are 
similar to those from Sir David Varney's 2006 report for the UK 
Government "Service transformation: A better service for citizens and 
businesses, a better deal for the taxpayer": 

Scott emphasized that the new government's plans for ICT were not 
aspirations, were very actionable and to be implemented within a few 
years. He gave Canada's on-line services as an example of what might be 
provided. Many of these changes are around the use of the Internet in 
place of physical delivery of services. This is not just for access in 
remote areas, but also in cities to replace face-to-face government 

The new Government will aim to reduce ICT cost and complexity with 
shared or cloud services. The "heavy" ICT user agencies will retain 
autonomy of their ICT, but required to provide regular reports to DoFD 
and AGIMO. The "heavy" agencies will provide services to other agencies. 
Also there will be sharing with state and local government. As a former 
public servant, I have some doubts about how this will be implemented.

A trial of a secure government cloud for "critical data" by 2014 will be 
conducted. Also measures to attract and retain IT staff will be 
introduced (I am not sure what these will be). Also there will be more 
interchange of staff between levels of government and the private sector.

An "Australian Government ICT Advisory Board" will be created to provide 
senior private sector ICT advice. It will be interesting to see how the 
private sector advisers will cope with the special requirements of 

There is expected to be a two month "commission of audit" followed by 
about three months while the results are considered. This could result 
in many moths of delay in new projects. There is expected to be 
considerable competition for expertise for delivering ICT services.

Scott suggested there was scope for ICT professionals to become drivers 
in the new processes. New proposals for ICT based services can be put as 
unsolicited bids (including from universities).

As someone who helps educate ICT professionals, one omission from the 
strategies of the new government is obtaining staff with the required 
skills. Simply buying these skills from the private sector can be very 
expensive. The Australian Government could re-skills some of their staff 
to provide what is needed.

Scott sees the "ICT Professional 2.0" as needing need EQ, Personal 
Communication, Policy Understanding, Funded Outcomes, PBS, Technology 
Business Translator, Personal Brand, Reputation and understanding the 
reasons for systems. These are not attributes, I suggest, which staff 
can get simply from doing a short training course. These are not 
attributes, I suggest,  which staff can get simply from doing a short 
training course. Although I have proposed teaching communication skills 
to graduates: 

One risk for the new government is a lack of understanding and interest 
in ICT, apart from Malcolm Turnbull, with no equivalent to the ALP's 
Senator Kate Lundy.


Tom Worthington FACS CP, TomW Communications Pty Ltd. t: 0419496150
The Higher Education Whisperer http://blog.highereducationwhisperer.com/
PO Box 13, Belconnen ACT 2617, Australia  http://www.tomw.net.au
Liability limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards

Adjunct Senior Lecturer, Research School of Computer Science,
Australian National University http://cs.anu.edu.au/courses/COMP7310/

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