Tasmanian Premier and Treasurer Lara Giddings has found $28 million in her 2013-14 State Budget to put together a Government-wide ICT project fund to cover the start-up costs of a range of as yet undecided technology initiatives.
It is a big ICT commitment from the smallest Australian State. Tasmania’s much larger neighbour Victoria allocated just $19 million in its own 2013-14 Budget for a similar fund covering ICT Strategy reforms and industry development initiatives.
Tasmania’s ICT Policy Board have the final say on which projects are funded from the pool, but budget papers already identify a number of initiatives as candidates for allocations, including:
- An Integrated Tasmanian Government Contact Centre;
- A new Budget Information Management System proposed by the Department of Treasury and Finance;
- New State Revenue Systems;
- A Criminal Justice Information Management System for the Department of Justice;
- An integrated Emergency Dispatch System for the combined use of the Tasmanian Police, Ambulance and Fire Service; and
- A Student Management System Replacement for the Department of Education.
Some of these projects, however, are already out of the starting blocks despite the absence of Project Fund decisions to date.
Budget Papers have committed $1.1 million in operational funding to the Criminal Information Management System for the years 2015-16 and 2016-17. They explain that it will “create repositories for all documents that need to be stored and exchanged in the Criminal Justice System”.
The Department of Premier and Cabinet has also received $4.4 million for the roll-out of the integrated contact centre, beginning with $1.2 million in 2013-14. It will seek additional capital funding from the ICT Project Fund. The Tasmanian Government is looking to end the duplication of contact centres across the State by establishing a central consolidated facility. It is seeking funding for “contemporary technologies and telephony” as well as capability to estimate queuing times for callers and offering call back options.
Independent of the ICT Project Fund, the Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment has received $3 million to develop a web-based platform for the distribution of the Government’s spatial information, building upon the Land Information System Tasmania already in operation.
The State Fire Commission has come away with a combined $3.4 million over four years for the replacement of its paging system, analogue radio infrastructure and radio equipment ($1.6 million) and its ongoing IT replacement program focussed on the transition to VOIP telephony, the roll-out of in-vehicle computers and modernisation of the Geographic Information System ($1.8 million).
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