At a distance of nearly 4,000 km from the eastern centres of Sydney and Canberra, Western Australia doesn’t always rate highly in the Government IT industry’s consciousness, but a hefty IT allocation in 2012-13 should attract some attention.
While the state was not immune to the collective belt-tightening seen across all Australian budgets so far, introducing a program to find $4.9 billion in savings, substantial IT allocations across the health, resources and law enforcement sectors amount to a healthy pool of funding for the industry.
A further $120 million worth of capital expenditure remains to be spent from 2011-12’s $249 million allocation for ‘Information Communications Technology’ as part of the asset investment program for WA Health. On top of this, $4.2 million will be spent on the Health Corporate Network’s corporate and shared services reform.
The largest IT allocation at WA Health was $150.7 million for priority ICT projects at the new Albany Health Campus and Fiona Stanley Hospital, to be spent over three years from 2011-12. Funding for a Patient Administration System (PAS) is included in this package.
Within the resources sector, Western Power received a brand new allocation of $228.7 million over four years for business support and IT services, with $68.3 million to be spent in 2012-13.
Two of the State’s largest energy suppliers, Synergy and Horizon Power, will receive a combined total of $40.9 million for IT projects including $15.5 million for software development and system enhancements at Synergy and $13.7 million for Horizon’s geographic information systems.
WA Police has also been allocated a healthy slice of the State’s ICT Budget, most of which will go towards ICT development and infrastructure projects. New funding of $42.5 million has been reserved for an ICT Infrastructure Replacement and Continuity Program, covering the period to 2015.
Another $42.3 million over the next three years has been allocated for upgrades to new and existing business systems at WA Police.
The ongoing decommissioning of the Office of Shared Services will cost the Department of Finance $82.5 million over the next four years. An additional $114.8 million in process and write off costs will also be incurred over the next two years.
This follows the announcement on 7 July 2011 that the WA Government would decommission the Office of Shared Services following the release of a report which found numerous operating inefficiencies and excessive costs across its operations.
The 58 state agencies that the Office of Shared Services currently covers will be forced to re-establish agency-level corporate services, incurring additional costs.
Other major WA Budget ICT allocations include:
- $32.2 million over four years for computer hardware and software for the Housing Authority;
- $21.1 million over four years for an information management systems upgrade at the Department of Agriculture and Food; and
- $15 million over four years for ICT Infrastructure (including data storage, networks, servers, communication hardware and corporate information systems) for the Department of Transport.