In February 2010, Geoscience Australia (GA) amended its procurement plans to reflect an intention to procure Development and Maintenance of Metadata Collection and Management Tools in December 2010.
The implementation of such tools will provide a platform for GA to address some of the information management issues at the heart of the criticism it received from the Australian National Audit Office (ANAO).
Last month, the medium reported on an ANAO Report (released on 11 February 2010) that criticised data management practices at the heavily data dependent agency.
According to the Audit Report, the annual budget for GA in 2008-09 was $174 million, of which $31 million was for services. In 2008–09, GA expended approximately $53 million on new geoscientific and new geospatial data. This is almost 30 per cent of its annual budget.
The Audit Report outlined recommendations aimed at reforming the problems of poor information management, a lack of data storage capacity and ineffective strategic direction.
The Audit Report found there had been no assessment of GA’s information management environment in its Information Communications Technology (ICT) Strategic Framework for 2008–11. The Audit Report recommended strengthening GA's inventory capability as a way of maintaining and storing data, and making decisions about the accessibility of the data.
GA indicated in response (page 45) to Recommendation 1 of the Audit Report that their ICT Strategic Plan would be complete by 1 April 2010. This would align with their Capability Statement and evolve from the GA Strategic Plan. Along with the Product Delivery Enhancement Program, the ICT Strategic Plan will cover all of GA’s strategic information management issues.
Other issues identified in the ANAO report include Project Governance and Website Redevelopment.
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