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South Australia to launch new ICT Strategy in 2013

by Pallavi Singhal and Paris Cowan •
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The South Australian Government has begun work on a brand new State-wide ICT Strategy which will replace the ‘Ask Just Once’ plan released in October 2007.

SA’s Government Chief Information Officer Andrew Mills has confirmed that his office is responsible for the project.

A spokesperson from the Office of the CIO told Intermedium that a completion date for the strategy has not yet been finalised and “will depend on the input received during consultation”. However, it is anticipated to be ready in the first half of 2013.

The new ICT Strategy will align with the goals of the SA Strategic Plan that was updated in September 2011, and key objectives are expected to include:

  • Improved productivity
  • Improved stakeholder engagement
  • Improved service delivery

Suggested tactics include improving user experience, the better use of public sector information, leveraging innovation and reducing risk.

The new Strategy is also expected to look at ways to do more with less, as an already frugal SA ICT Budget faces further cuts thanks to an $800 million savings drive aimed at getting the Budget back into surplus by 2015-16. The savings program will include around 1,000 public service job cuts and an efficiency dividend of 1 per cent applied to agencies.

In Intermedium’s get to know the CIO series, Andrew Mills said that his Government had already adapted to working with less funding than other jurisdictions.

“Because we have been pushed for so long, our total ICT spend in percentage terms is about half that of other jurisdictions. We’re in the 3+ per cent region when it comes to the proportion of our budget spent on IT,” he said.

A 2010 examination of its ICT investment conducted by the SA Government showed that the public sector’s ICT expenditure was $624.2 million in 2009-10 (including staff costs). This made up 3.2 per cent of total public sector expenditure.

ICT spending was further split between:

  • Infrastructure (48 per cent)
  • Telecommunications (20 per cent)
  • Applications (20 per cent)
  • Management (12 per cent)

The government’s ICT personnel comprised 2.4 per cent of its total workforce, with 1,994 full-time employees in June 2010.

The Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA) has been approached to provide its input into the strategy development. In an email to members Peter Fulton, Chairperson of the AIIA SA Government Taskforce, said that “a multi-staged approach has been created which starts with a ‘Strategic Diagnostic’ of the current drivers of Government, is followed by the development of a draft plan, a subsequent consultation phase, presentation and review”.

Mr Fulton is encouraging members of the ICT industry to engage with the government in the development of the draft plan.

The strategy is being developed in line with the 2012 State Strategic Plan, which is based around seven priorities:

  1. Creating a vibrant city;
  2. Safe communities and healthy neighbourhoods;
  3. An affordable place to live;
  4. Every chance for every child;
  5. Growing advanced manufacturing;
  6. Realising the benefits of the mining boom for all; and
  7. Premium food and wine from our clean environment.

The government’s previous ICT strategy, ‘Ask Just Once’, focused on improving access to government information and services for citizens and businesses by establishing a single point of contact for inquiries. It also targeted increased use of the internet for service delivery, adopting a shared services model to standardise systems, and improving service provision.

Work is also underway on a new ICT Strategy in Victoria. The State released a draft version for feedback, in October 2012 with a final strategy due to be presented by December 2012.

The projected implementation date for measures contained in the Victorian plan extends to December 2014. Key investment areas include ICT-enabled project delivery, increased innovation through market engagement and increased reuse and sharing of ICT solutions.

Earlier this year, Queensland Minister for Science, IT, Innovation and the Arts Ros Bates closed down her Government’s five-year ‘Toward Q2 through ICT’ strategy. A new ICT strategy is expected to be developed once the findings of a State-wide ICT Audit have been examined.

Related Articles:

Victoria’s Draft ICT Strategy: the in-depth guide

South Australia to outsource management of $485 million eHealth program

Getting a foot in the door of the South Australian ICT market

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

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