Intermedium’s briefing last week on the Federal Government’s Review of ICT (the Gershon Review) was sold out! An audience of more than 100 supplier and agency representatives was very keen to hear details about the first comprehensive review of the Government’s ICT environment in 13 years.
The Intermedium presentation focused on the leader of the review, Sir Peter Gershon, his involvement in reviews in the UK, and how this might inform the nature and direction of his review in Australia.
Sir Peter undertook three high profile reviews of government in the UK in 1998, 1999 and 2004 that ultimately earned him a knighthood for his contribution to efficiency in government. His attention to detail in these reviews suggests that he will not be skimming over any issues in the current review. However given the time frame of this review, he will clearly need to focus on the “deliverables”.
The Terms of Reference for the review outline the ICT priorities for the Rudd Government. They indicate that ICT has emerged from the backroom and is now clearly at the front line. The Terms of Reference show that agencies will need to demonstrate how the Government has benefited from ICT projects in the delivery of services, not just in meeting project criteria.
In the UK, this has been referred to as “citizen-centric” government.
Ministers Tanner (Finance) and Ludwig (Human Services) have been clear that a number of recent major projects have not met this requirement.
The briefing also provided a detailed background to the review, particularly the Government‟s objectives in undertaking the review. It comes on the back of a number of high profile ICT project failures and service delivery issues, and follows announcements of the Government‟s intention to move towards more centralised procurement, and to leverage Government buying to achieve savings.