The government is moving into election mode. Substantial announcements are being made in the health (new funding models for public hospitals) and education (a national curriculum) arenas. Suggestions are of a tough budget – unusual in a pre-election context.
So what can we expect in ICT cost reduction on the one hand, and in ICT service delivery enhancements on the other?
The initiatives taken by the Department of Finance and Deregulation (Finance) have come, over the life of this government, to hold the answer to those questions.
With the firm support of a Minister who is both interested and active in the ICT arena, the breadth, scope and bite of Finance’s influence over ICT measures taken by individual agencies has never been stronger.
This role is reinforced in ICT investment Principle 5, which is contained in an undated document on the agency’s website, under the its description of ICT Investment Management:
"Finance is responsible for developing, in consultation with agencies, the Frameworks that assist agencies to achieve the efficient and effective use of ICT by the Australian Government. Finance will do this through: facilitating reuse, interoperability, sharing and collaboration; encouraging use of standards; and strategic guidance to agencies and advice to Government on ICT investment."