The NSW Government’s tough budget has seen the level of funding for new ICT initiatives fall sharply, with just over half as much new ICT funding contained in papers handed down today as was seen in the 2011-12 Budget.
An initial analysis of the Budget Papers has identified just over $390 million worth of new ICT funding, well below the $659 million in new funding listed in 2011-12 according to Intermedium’s Budget IT Online tool.
Recent years have seen generous new allocations, with the Department of Health receiving $395 million for a tranche of e-health projects in the 2011-12 Budget and the Department of Education and Training receiving $240 million for three major ICT systems projects in the 2010-11 Budget.
In contrast to previous years the largest new ICT allocation this year was just $151.3 million for business systems improvements within the Transport for NSW cluster, to be spent between 2012 and 2016. Nearly $27.8 million of this has been earmarked for 2012-13.
The transport cluster’s business systems drew criticism from Kerry Schott in her NSW Commission of Audit Interim Report, released earlier this year. The Report found that there were over 130 systems supporting business processes and reporting across the cluster.
“It is anticipated that the number of systems can be consolidated to between 12 and 24 which will result in both clarity and an estimated recurrent cost saving of over $100 million per year” it said.
It is not clear from the Budget Papers whether the Transport allocation is intended to support business system consolidation.
Schott’s recommendation that the NSW Treasury begin planning for an improved government financial management system “as a matter of urgency” has, however, fallen on receptive ears. The Treasury will use money rolled over from 2011-12 to commence the development of a new system, in accordance with the Schott Report’s recommendation. No value has been included in the papers.
The health cluster has once again come away with significant new funding, with $22.2 million to go towards a NSW Organisational Risk Management System (NORMS) in the years to 2015, while the Ambulance Service will receive $28 million over eight years for various ICT upgrades.
Other new ICT allocations include $54.4 million for Technology for Learning and ICT minor works at the Department of Education and Communities, and $9 million for the Department of Attorney General and Justice plus $3.7 million for the NSW Police Force under the ‘Joined Up Justice’ scheme to enhance data exchange between the Police and the courts.
A full list of NSWICT allocations, both new and ongoing, will soon be available in Intermedium’s Budget IT tool, which this year has been launched in an easy-to-use online format for the first time. The multi-jurisdictional tool covers the Australian Federal and State governments and the New Zealand Government, allowing you to compare total ICT allocations between jurisdictions, and well as drilling down into the detail of the budget allocations for each jurisdiction.
For more information about budget IT,take a look on our website or call (02) 9955 9896.