The Queensland Government continues to keep its cards close to its chest when it comes to state-wide ICT reforms, handing down a set of Budget Papers today that will do little to assuage the ICT industry’s curiosity about the future of the State’s procurement activity.
Minister for Science, IT, Innovation and the Arts Ros Bates revealed in a media release today that a “major overhaul” of shared services was definitely on the way, but a spokesperson for her office would not be drawn on details. She said that the shape of the reforms would be informed by the findings of the whole-of-government ICT Audit currently underway.
However the man in charge of the Audit, Queensland Government Chief Information Officer Peter Grant, has spoken out about how he would like to see the State’s troubled shared services system remodelled.
In August he outlined his favoured alternative to delegates at the Technology in Government and the Public Sector Summit in Canberra. Under the plan, a Service Executive would be formed with a remit for identifying the best and most efficient channels of ICT procurement for the Queensland Government, be it through existing shared services bodies such as CITEC, or outsourcing to the private sector.
The Service Executive would be funded to provide these services free of charge to agencies, said Grant, who criticised cost recovery models.
The Minister’s spokesperson could not confirm whether or not this approach would be adopted.
The most generous ICT allocations in the savings-focussed budget went to Queensland Health, the Queensland Police Service (QPS) and the energy generator Stanwell Corporation Limited.
In 2012-13 Queensland Health will receive $66.3 million for ICT equipment to “continue the replacement and upgrade of information and technology equipment to provide future capability”. The allocation will fund eHealth clinical systems and ICT infrastructure.
Another $36 million will go to Stanwell Corporation this year for a range of ICT projects including $15 million to continue a $26.2 million Enterprise Information Systems and new funding of $15 million for hardware, software and communications upgrades.
The QPS will receive $27.1 million will fund its ICT agenda in 2012-13, mostly to finish off projects originally funded under Labor, including:
- $10.8 million to continue its broad technology refresh program;
- $3.7 million to finish its $22 million Digital Integrated Traffic Camera System;
- $3.6 million to finish its $13.9 million Computer Aided Dispatch System;
- $2 million to finish stage 2 of its $11.2 million Weapons Licensing Management System;
- New funding of $500,000 for a Critical Incident Management System; and
- $6.5 million for a variety of other ICT minor works.
Savings measures in the budget will also directly impact ICT programs, including the decision to scrap the Police’s Discipline and Complaints Management System in order to retrieve $6.9 million.
Minister Bates also outlined the Government’s intention to follow in the NSW’s footsteps by implementing one-stop-shops for service delivery via phone, online and in person. NSW’s comprehensive model for service delivery consolidation, Service NSW, has already produced approaches to market for a hosted contact centre platform, a case management system and services associated with the establishment of a desktop environment for Service NSW staff.