The Federal Government is well on its way to achieving its goal of increasing sharing and collaboration in the use of ICT, with a whole-of-government ICT Services Catalogue on track for completion by the first quarter of 2014.
The Government outlined its aim of agencies being able to “share and re-use common business processes, patterns and standards, increasing the consistency of services” by 2015, in the APS ICT Strategy.
The establishment of an ICT Services Catalogue is a key deliverable in the Strategy.
“The ICT Services Catalogue provides government agencies with information about existing ICT systems and online services,” a spokesperson from the Department of Finance and Deregulation told Intermedium.
“[It aims] to enable opportunities for re-use and collaboration. It is exclusively for the use of government departments and agencies.”
The ICT Services Catalogue will provide constantly updated information on existing ICT systems, solutions and services in use by other departments.
“The Catalogue will not be a static repository of information,” said the spokesperson.
“Finance intends that agencies actively contribute to it, as well as draw from it, as systems and services are developed and updated, and agencies’ experience with those systems and services increases.
“That way, agencies are kept aware of best practice and the solutions that fit within the government sector.”
It will enable cross-jurisdictional access to public sector ICT systems, with Federal, State and Territory government agencies to be able to register for use of the Catalogue. However, State and Territory governments will have limited, read-only access.
The Catalogue is being established as a component of Finance’s GovShare enhancement project, which was initially launched in 2012. Currently, the GovShare and GovDex platforms enable agencies to form online communities and harmonise business processes, share ICT artefacts and manage projects.
Finance has recently begun contracting for the development of an enhanced GovShare platform that will include the new ICT Services Catalogue component.
The Department signed a $66,800 contract with GovSource for the platform transfer and enhancement of the existing GovShare solution under a limited tendering process. The period of the contract is from March 2013 to September 2013.
It is now seeking an external provider to host the platform.
“Separately, an external host will be sought to publish the enhanced GovShare,” said the Finance spokesperson.
“The Department of Finance and Deregulation recently released a Request for Quotation for hosting services.”
The development of the ICT Services Catalogue was first flagged during a Secretaries’ ICT Governance Board (SIGB) meeting in April 2012, where “the SIGB agreed the scope of several projects with opportunities for whole-of-government benefits [including] an ICT services catalogue to support re-use and collaboration opportunities, and exploration of sensible opportunities to cluster or share services among smaller agencies”.
The push towards whole-of-government collaboration is also underlined by a number of other initiatives and multi-agency projects identified by the APS ICT Strategy, including:
- The implementation of a sharing arrangement for CIO Forum agencies;
- A whole-of-government Parliamentary Workflow Solution;
- Shared internet gateways; and
- A whole-of-government Grants Management Solution.
Each of these initiatives are expected to be completed by 2014-15.
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