The Department of Defence has announced it will not proceed with the planned market testing of a Distributed Computing Bundle. The bundle was set to replace two existing contracts with Unisys and Fujitsu and included all end user and desk side support services across Australian Defence locations with an ICT service desk. According to a media release, Defence has decided not to proceed “as the projects currently underway require a focused and sustained effort”, meaning it has no time for the planned market testing of the bundle. As a result Unisys has received a two year extension on its Regional ICT Services Agreement worth $52 million.
Bret Morris has been appointed as the new South Australian whole-of-Government CIO. He is replacing the outgoing Andrew Mills who has moved to Queensland to take up the role of state CIO. Morris will now be tasked with implementing the SA’s new ICT strategy which was published in November 2013. The strategy will see the State taking a share-first approach encouraging agencies to re-use and share capabilities together rather than re-inventing. Morris has previously served as the Executive Director of corporate operations and governance at the Department of Premier and Cabinet.
The South Australian Liberal opposition leader, Steven Marshall, has pledged a state-wide IT overhaul of the paper-based legal network, if elected, reports IT News. The current Labor Government has already proposed a $500 million upgrade of the state’s justice precinct including an on-site IT upgrade. However, Marshall has promised to extend the overhaul to a state-wide upgrade. This would include not only an upgrade of the justice precinct but also a redevelopment of the systems used by the Courts Administration Authority. A Liberal Government would introduce electronic filing, online case management and video conferencing. The State election will be held on 15 March 2014.
The Department of Human Services (DHS) is establishing a new ICT services panel. DHS issued a Request for Tender (RFT) in December 2013, inviting suppliers to join the new panel ahead of the expiration of the current panel in August 2014. Over the panel’s four year duration, DHS procured $51.2 million worth of services, according to Intermedium’s ScoutIT. Dialogue Informat achieved the largest market share accounting for 31% of services procured through the panel, with a total contracts value of $17.9 million. Tender Documents indicate that the new panel will consist of 25 to 45 suppliers. Tender applications closed at the beginning of February 2014.
The 2013-14 Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook (MYEFO) has introduced a number of funding measures within the ICT realm. The Government will provide $3 million to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) to implement ICT changes regarding the Private Health Insurance Rebate. The MYEFO states “a single rebate adjustment factor will be applied to all insurance products to adjust the rebate percentage received by individuals” which subsequently affects the ATO’s current systems. The Government will also provide $2 million to Education Services Australia over two years to develop online support materials and curriculum resources to help teachers better understand food and fibre production.
A Victorian Auditor-General’s report on the Results of 2012-13 Audits on Water Entities has identified a number of problems relating to the controls of IT systems. 11 of the 19 entities were found to have inadequate IT controls with 13 issues recorded in regards to systems access and password management. There were six instances where privileged user accounts were not being managed appropriately. The Auditor-General recommended that security and control management policies be developed and implemented and that a periodic review of user access rights be implemented.
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