The 2012-13 Budget has offered a window of insight into the ICT expenditure of one Australia’s less scrutinised States – Tasmania.
It shows that the office in charge of the Government’s ICT policy and strategy, the Government Information and Services Division (GISD) within the Department of Premier and Cabinet, spends over $40 million each year on the delivery of key services.
Within GISD, the ICT shared services unit TMD is expected to have expended $33 million on the provision of a variety of services to Tasmanian agencies in 2011-12. This is forecast to drop to $29.2 million in 2012-13 owing to the cessation of funding for the ‘IT Transformation: Creating Government’s Technology Future program’, and anticipated changes to ICT pricing into the out years.
According to its output statement, the unit serviced more than 28,000 telephone services, 949 broadband connections, nearly 5,000 remote access connections and 9,494 mobile voice and data services across the Tasmanian public sector in 2011-12.
The implementation of the Tasmanian Government’s ICT Strategy was budgeted at $6.8 million across the five years from 2011-12 inclusive, with $1.3 million to be expended in 2012-13. Responsibility for the ICT Strategy’s implementation falls to the Office of eGovernment within the GISD.
Tasmania’s one-stop Government service portal Service Tasmania, operated by its own unit within the GISD, received $12.7 million across 2011-12, which has climbed to $13.8 million in 2012-13. This figure covers IT as well as non-IT expenditure in support of the portal, including physical service centres.
A handful of small IT projects were also funded in the Budget, handed down on 17 May 2012.
Following an appeal to the Giddings Government by the President of the Tasmanian Police Union for urgent improvements to the Force’s ICT systems, the force will receive approximately $4 million across the forward estimates to fund the Police Connectivity program. The program aims to “update current police systems and software, and provide more information to officers whilst mobile or in office locations,” say the Budget Papers. It will also include the continuation of the Automatic Vehicle Location project.
The State Fire Commission will run a $2.2 million IT Replacement Program and $1.4 million Communications Replacement Program targeted at radio and paging systems over the next four years.
Another $3 million has been earmarked for the development of an online spatial data platform targeting strategic planning across the government, and $1.1 million for IT systems to support specialist cancer centres in Hobart and Launceston.