Your Say: Qld Govt lifting itself out of IT doldrums

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Your Say: Qld Govt lifting itself out of IT doldrums

[Blog post] Government accepts there is work left to do.

The Queensland Government is pretty chuffed to have lifted itself out of the wrong side of IT notoriety (see: Health payroll) to ranking second in iTnews’ State of IT eGovernment maturity survey.

“It was rewarding to see Queensland recognised as one of the nation’s IT leaders," acting IT and Innovation Minister John-Paul Langbroek told iTnews, while his colleague Ian Walker is on leave.

“This has been a hard road considering the woeful mess we inherited from Labor, and there’s more to do, but we have come a long way."

He is certainly right in one respect: There is more work to do.

No-one is more aware of this than the public sector staff building and using Queensland Government systems every day.

We asked them what they think of Queensland’s IT maturity and those who responded broadly agreed with our scores, but said that innovation is not rewarded to the extent it should be in the state.

Your say: How does WA’s own rating stack up against ours?

The agency heading IT, the Department of Science, IT, Innovation and the Arts (DSITIA) has also responded to the "nos" that iTnews and our readers have given them.

We said: "There does not appear to be a formal mechanism to ensure that CIO voices can be heard at higher levels of government, as there is in other states like NSW."

DSITIA said we were wrong.

“The Queensland Government also has a CIO Committee which meets fortnightly and comprises CIOs and the QGCIO.  The committee collaboratively discusses initiatives and challenges affecting the government which the QGCIO can refer to the IT Minister.” 

It diverted the blame when we accused it of leaving it too late to replace legacy tech:

“The former Labor government left the Queensland Government’s IT systems in a pitiful state. As evidence of this, the current government undertook an ICT audit in 2012 which identified 39 significant at-risk systems, many past or nearing their end of life. Of those 39, approximately 60 per cent are no longer considered at-risk.

For the remainder, departments are actively monitoring and managing the risk profile of their systems. The Directors-General Council also monitors the resolution of at-risk systems across departments.”

DSITIA denied that it is underfunding value-adding tech, pointing to the $100 million it will pay to replace LATTICE within its emergency services agencies:

“The Queensland Government funds IT based on these priorities, not only where savings can be found.

Funding decisions within Queensland Government are based on the individual merits and business drivers of each proposal. Considering the level of government debt, savings is an important driver, but other drivers can be to deliver new services, reduce risk or even replace a legacy system.”

But, as we pointed out, DSITIA conceded that skills are still an issue in the public service.

“While we’re confident we have the leadership skills to realise our vision, we acknowledge that to achieve our transformation we’ll need to build capability in certain areas.

To support our transformation to ICT as-a-service agencies have prepared ICT Workforce Transformation Plans.”

And DISTIA  believes it is doing its part to recognise good ideas, despite what its employees might otherwise report.

“One way government is rewarding innovation is by enabling government agencies to directly engage Small-to-Medium enterprises in the provision of innovative solutions up to $500,000.

“The Government is also developing an innovation portal to seek innovative solutions for service delivery challenges. This portal will foster partnerships between public and private sector organisations.”

Keep an eye out as iTnews continues the state government IT discussion all of this week. And if you haven’t downloaded the State of IT report, you can find it here.

Paris Cowan
Paris Cowan joined iTnews in July 2013 after a stint at Intermedium, a news and data analysis firm based exclusively on government IT procurement. At Intermedium, Paris reported on new IT projects underway in state and federal agencies, interviewed public sector CIOs and was subsequently promoted to Online Editor in June 2012. While public sector IT will remain her key focus at iTnews, she has been given a broader remit to cover technology programs across several industries.
Read more from this blog: The State of IT

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