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The 10 events that shaped government ICT in 2011

by David Shi •
Free resource

Throughout the year, Intermedium  sought to bring you the latest news and exclusive insights into the most significant announcements and policy changes that have affected the government ICT sector.

As we look back upon 2011, we have compiled a top ten list of topics and issues that defined the market throughout the previous year. In no particular order, this is our top ten:


Whole-of-Government IT Services Panel (WISP)

After much deliberation, the Australian Government decided not to go ahead with the establishment of a Whole-of-Government IT Services Panel (WISP).

Instead, a Portfolio Panels for IT Services Policy became effective in December, which aims to halve the number existing IT Services panels by capping the number of panels within each department to maximum of three. 

According to AGIMO’s blog, the originally proposed WISP was intended to reduce the number of ICT services panels from 87 to approximately 4.


The whole-of-government panels that DID happen

While a fully implemented WISP plan never saw the light of day, AGIMO successfully established a whole suite of other whole-of-government ICT panels in response to recommendations of the Gershon Review.

It kicked off the Australian Government’s Data Centre Strategy with the establishment of the Data Centre Facilities Panel in March and the Data Centre Migration Panel in April.

Telecommunications procurement was also transformed through the establishment of the Telecommunications (mobile) panel, announced in January, the Telecommunications Management panel in March and the Internet Based Network Connections(IBNC) panel in July.

Printers and other office machinery were covered off under the dual Major Office Machines panels, one for equipment and support, established in April and one for managed print services, established in June.

The coordinated procurement program incurred what was probably the single most significant change to the Federal ICT market in 2011.


National E-Health Reform

In the Health sector, the biggest and most talked about ICT project was the Department of Health and Ageing’s ongoing implementation of its $466.7 million Personally Controlled Electronic Health Record (PCEHR).

Announced as part of the 2010-11 Federal Budget, the system is scheduled for completion by 1 July 2012, despite concerns from critics and State jurisdictions about the ambitious timetable set for the project.

A consortium led by Accenture and including Oracle and Orion Health were named National Infrastructure Partners for the ICT component of the rollout, with the $77 million contract awarded in August.


ATO Application Services Panel

The Australian Tax Office (ATO) revealed the supplier list for its IT Application Services Panel in August 2011. The five chosen suppliers, Accenture, Capgemini, CSC, HP and IBM, will take the lion’s share of the agency’s annual IT services spend as result.

In 2010-11, over $2.1 billion in ICT contracts were signed by the ATO, which was the highest annual ICT contracting total ever recorded by a single Australian government agency.

The first contract to be signed under the IT Application Services Panel, a $13.7 million IT Services contract with Accenture, commenced on 26 August 2011, just eleven days after the official publication of the supplier list.


Defence’s Applications Managed Services Partner Arrangement

Not to be outdone by the Tax Office, the Department of Defence released the list of five Preferred Industry Partners (PIPs) chosen for its Applications Managed Services Partner Arrangement (AMSPA) in October.

With Defence expected to channel an estimated $340 million worth of systems integrations work through AMSPA over the next three years, the listed suppliers are now poised in what will most likely be a highly lucrative position.

In an exclusive interview with Intermedium,Defence CIO Greg Farr reassured that opportunities will still remain for non-panellists to form partnerships or sub-contracting arrangements with the five PIPs.


Internet Gateway Consolidation Program 

The whole-of-government Internet Gateway Consolidation Program has well and truly commenced in 2011, with nearly all lead agencies approaching the market for suppliers. Defence kicked off the program in April 2011 with a $52 million contract awarded to Verizon.  

The Gateway Reduction Program aims to reduce the number of secure internet gateways currently in use by government departments and agencies from 124 gateways to a number ranging between four and eight.

Eight led agencies were nominated for the program, with Customs and the AFP being the only two agencies that had yet to approach the market as of December 2011.


Victorian eServices Panel

A total of 368 panellists are now listed on the Victorian eServices Panel after a tumultuous year which saw the Victorian Baillieu Government reverse a decision to slash the number of panellists by 65, following widespread complaints from the ICT Industry.

The latest eServices panel, which was unveiled on November 2011, will be compulsory for all Victorian Budget Sector departments and agencies to use, spanning 18 different categories of ICT Services procurement.


Department of Human Services portfolio integration

On 1 July 2011, the Department of Human Services (DHS) legally became a single entity, taking in the roles and responsibilities of Medicare Australia, Centrelink and CRS Australia as per the Human Services Legislation Amendment Act 2011.

As a result of the integration, all of the affected agencies will be required to integrate their functions and transfer the ICT infrastructure of the involved agencies to a single shared services unit

The integration attracted by far the largest ICT allocation in the 2011-12 budget, will a total of $569.9 million set aside for elements of the project, including infrastructure integration, information sharing and the establishment of a central website and phone number.

The Department also waved goodbye to its long-serving Chief Information Officer John Wadeson, who had become a well known figure in public sector ICT during his service.


Whole-of-Government ICT Strategic Vision

The Federal Government released its Draft Whole-of-Government Strategic Vision in April 2011 via the AGIMO blog.

One of key themes of the proposal was a portfolio approach to ICT that could facilitate the sharing of solutions and expertise between agencies as a strategy to avoid duplication and waste. This portfolio approach was later reflected in the Government’s IT Services Panel policy mentioned above.

The Draft Vision proposed a long term plan for the government’s use of ICT in order to increase public sector productivity. As part of the consultation process, industry figures were invited by AGIMO to comment on the Federal Government’s draft ICT Strategic Vision, with the final version expected to reflect industry input.


NSW Government IT Governance reforms and ICT strategy

Barry O’Farrell’s Coalition Government assumed leadership in NSW in April and wasted no time in announcing a new ICT governance model in July 2011.

The model was heavily based on reforms suggested by then Department of Services, Technology and Administration (DSTA) the previous December, and featured an ICT Board made up of key Directors-General, and ICT Leadership Board focused on policy implementation and an ICT Advisory Panel, to which members of the private and research were then invited.

November saw the fruition of the Coalition Government’s ICT reforms with the release of a Draft ICT Strategy for NSW.


Related Articles:

Will-o’-the-WISP: Commonwealth abandons Whole-of-Government Panel

Defence names Systems Integration panelists

IT Services Panels: the elusive WISP re-emerges and Victoria bows to industry pressure

ATO reveals IT Application Services Panel

The biggest year on record: Tax Office spends $2.1 billion on ICT

  • Federal
  • NSW
  • VIC
  • IT Services
  • Defence
  • Health
  • Human Services
  • Justice
  • Policy
  • Treasury
  • Accenture
  • Applications Managed Services Partner Arrangement
  • ATO IT Applications and Services Panel
  • Department of Defence
  • Department of Health and Ageing
  • Department of Human Services
  • DHS integration
  • Gateway Reduction Program
  • Greg Farr
  • Internet Gateway Consolidation Program
  • John Wadeson
  • NSW Government IT Governance reforms and ICT strategy
  • oracle
  • Orion Health
  • Personally Controlled Electronic Health Record
  • Victorian eServices Panel
  • Whole-of-Government ICT Strategic Vision
  • Whole-of-Government IT Services Panel
  • WISP
  • Data Centres