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Geoscience Australia benefits from Gershon BAU fund

by Annabelle Milosavljevic •
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After an adverse Australian National Audit Report (ANAO) in February 2010, Geoscience Australia (GA) has been allocated $2.9 million from the Federal Budget 2010-11’s Business-as-Usual (BAU) fund.  This allocation is more than double GA's total contract value for data storage in 2008-09. 

The 2007-08 financial year saw GA contract $1.87 million for data storage.  The following year this dropped to $1.34 million.

In his 2008 review, Review of the Australian Government's Use of Information and Communication Technology, Sir Peter Gershon recommended 50 per cent of the savings garnered from implementation of the Review should go into an Information and Communication Technology BAU Reinvestment Fund.

A BAU re-investment of $200 million was promised; $54.5 million was allocated in August 2009; the 2010-11 Budget allocated a further $113.6 million.

The 11 February 2010 ANAO report was highly critical of GA, highlighting data management and strategic direction of ICT as the two key problems facing GA.

The report made recommendations to remedy poor information management, a lack of data storage capacity and ineffective strategic direction.  In 2008–09, GA expended approximately $53 million on data acquisition, which is approximately 30 per cent of its annual budget.

GA chief information officer Stuart Girvan told iTnews GA will continue its strategic supply relationship with Hitachi Data Systems to provide a $4.8 million data storage solution.  Girvan said HDS have already commenced work on the solution and it is "not far off the complete delivery."

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