The NSW Government plans to save $565m from its ICT budget over the next 4 years. In addition to this is the implementatin of its major IT program - ICT Strategic Plan People First, said NSW Minister for Commerce John Della Bosca.
Speaking at an AIIA forum in Sydney on 23 August attended by 170 members, Mr. Della Bosca said that the savings would come from procurement changes and reallocation of government spending as outlined in the People First plan. Currently spending around $1 billion per year on ICT procurements, the NSW Government intends to spend about $3.5 billion over the next 4 years.
Released by the Premier Morris Iemma on 8 August 06 was the draft „A New Direction for NSW‟ State Plan. Mr. Della Bosca said that the essence of this plan was to provide better quality customer services, delivered in a friendly and compassionate manner by front line staff. People First underpins this intent by reallocating ICT spending to systems that support people in the front line - in hospitals, schools and those servicing the needs of families.
The Minister indicated that procurement changes intended to deliver savings were already underway, with the current spend on voice communications of $260m expected to reduce by between $25 -75m in its first year, through new contractual arrangements.. The first stage of this process, the evaluation of an EOI, is now underway.
Procurement changes would also yield a saving in the supply of PC‟s, notebooks and servers, on which the government currently spends about $175m per year. The current contract (ITS2000) expires on 31 October 2006.
Mr. Della Bosca indicated that the procurement reforms would ensure that SME‟s were not left out of the market, as it was the government‟s intention to continue supporting the local ICT industry. The move by the Premier to take responsibility for the State and Regional Development portfolio was a clear signal of the degree to which the government sees SME‟s as the „engine room‟ of the NSW economy, the Minister said.
The government would continue programs that support technology companies, attract investment in NSW by the large ICT companies and expand infrastructure deployment to benefit all participants in the ICT industry. The government will also continue to support important industry showcase events, such as CeBIT.
Mr. Della Bosca applauded the AIIA for its involvement with the Australian Procurement and Construction Council (APCC), describing AIIA as “the” industry participant. APCC is the peak body for procurement, construction and asset management policy for the Australian, State and Territory governments. He emphasized NSW‟s commitment to working within APCC, particularly to achieving a nationally consistent approach to managing liability and risk in contracts.