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Queensland ICT Strategy progress update

by Pallavi Singhal •
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Following the release of its ICT Strategy 2013-17 and associated Action Plan, the Queensland Government has confirmed that the Strategy’s main deliverables for 2013 are on track for completion.

Major outcomes listed in the Strategy and Action Plan include:

  • Implementation of a gateway review process for ICT projects by October 2013;
  • Establishment of a panel for email-as-a-service by October 2013;
  • Delivery of a Queensland Government cloud strategy by November 2013;
  • Publication of Queensland Government ICT dashboards by November 2013.
  • Implementation of the whole-of-government ICT services panel by March 2014; and
  • Short and medium term ICT procurement reform goals for 2014

Gateway Review Process

A spokesperson from the Department of Science, Information Technology, Innovation and the Arts (DSITIA) told Intermedium that a gateway review process for ICT programs that will “inform continuation to the next stage or early termination of underperforming projects” is on track for implementation in October 2013.

“ICT Projects will be classified under the [internationally recognised] OGC [UK’s Office of Government Commerce] gateway review process before the end of the year triggering progressive reviews of level 3 or 4 projects in the New Year.”

A Gateway Review Guidebook is already available and outlines the six gates set up at various stages of the project cycle. The process will be overseen by a Gateway Unit within Queensland Treasury and Trade.

Whole of Government Panels

In addition, the whole-of-government ICT services panel, expected to be fully implemented by March 2014, continues to expand its scope with an approach to market on 1 October 2013 for two new tranches of work.

Submissions for Tranche 2, comprising Solution Development and Implementation services, and Tranche 3, covering Procurement and Management Support and Client Interface services, close on 11 November 2013.

Suppliers under Tranche 1 for Strategy and Architecture and Business Change were appointed earlier this year following an approach to market in March.The panel, which is a continuously open list of prequalified suppliers, aims to “provide the means to quickly identify and select industry partners in the provision of service delivery outcomes”.

The Queensland Government spends around $50 million annually on ICT services, according to tender documents.

The Queensland Government is also well underway with the establishment of an email-as-a-service panel to meet its strategic goal of achieving “electronic communication and collaboration (including email)”.

“The State is conducting a closed ITO for the supply of electronic communication and collaboration services,” said the DSITIA spokesperson.

The panel is on track to be operational in October 2013.

Moving to the Cloud

Queensland has also been making progress on its journey to adopting cloud services.

“The Queensland Government’s cloud strategy is currently undergoing consultation and is on track for delivery by November this year,” said the spokesperson.

The strategy will be supported by the “development of revised contracts supporting as-a-service arrangements” and new assessment requirements that will see the periodic review and testing of managed and cloud services, to be introduced by December 2013.

The ICT Strategy Action Plan also includes the development of a strategic procurement plan for government ICT by February 2014 “that encapsulates forward investment intent as well as current commitments [and] will be critical to managing moves to as-a-service environments”

These cloud-specific procurement initiatives exist within the framework of broader ICT procurement reforms.

Procurement Reform

The implementation of a new ICT contestability framework, a “total cost-of-service” modelling method, and an ICT sourcing policy “establishing an effective approach to early market engagement” are all due by the end of 2013.

Planned ICT procurement reform in the short term will also impact Queensland Government agencies and suppliers. Changes that are expected to be implemented by February 2014 include the implementation of a simple ICT contractual framework for procurements up to $1 million and the addition of “early and up-front market engagement” in the business case stage of ICT projects.

In the medium term, ICT procurement reform goals include the transformation of the existing Government Information Technology Conditions framework by enabling “more flexible commercial arrangements supporting the move to an as-a-service environment”, increased links between departments and industry partners at the initial stage when business problems are identified, and aiming to understand project feasibility early in the business case stage. These reform initiatives have an estimated completion date in December 2014.

The earliest item set out in the Action Plan has already been implemented, with the successful launch of the first Queensland Government ICT dashboards in August 2013. The dashboards aim to provide centralised access to information on agencies’ ICT initiatives, timeframes, contracts and costs to promote transparency and accountability. Dashboards are currently available for the Department of Science, Information Technology, Innovation and the Arts, the Department of Education, Training and Employment, and Queensland Treasury and Trade, with all agencies expected to publish their data by the end of November 2013.

Management Movements at DSITIA

The agency in charge of overseeing the implementation of the Government’s ICT Strategy, DSITIA, has recently undergone some major organisational changes at the top level.

A new permanent Director-General Sue Rickerby has been appointed and will begin in the role from 11 October 2013, following the departure of current DG Andrew Garner.

The Department is also searching for a new whole-of-government CIO, following the departure of the former GCIO Peter Grant in May 2013.

DSITIA also had a change of minister in February 2013 with the resignation of Ros Bates and the appointment of current Minister Ian Walker.

The ICT Strategy and associated Action Plan have been released and implemented against the backdrop of these ongoing changes and given the good progress seen to date, it seems the timeframe for future ICT deliverables is unlikely to be impacted by the recent DG change.  

View the DSITIA profile on GovFacts >>>

Related Articles:

Queensland Health begins ICT Reform Program

TAFE Queensland looks to move another major system into the cloud

Young gun to lead Queensland’s ICT reforms

For more information, please contact the Editor (02) 9955 9896.

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  • Peter Grant
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