Your Say: Victorian IT progress not what it seems

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Your Say: Victorian IT progress not what it seems

[Blog Post] Public servants not convinced by IT rhetoric.

The iTnews State of IT report handed the Victorian Government a pretty rosy verdict when in comes to its progress overcoming a chequered IT past.

We gave the state 7 points out of 12 on our IT maturity index, as part of our comprehensive assessment of the relative progress of nationwide eGovernment efforts.

But when we asked the Victorian public service to give their feedback they took a dramatically different perspective. iTnews’  Victorian Government readers have scored the state just 4.5 out of 12, protesting that innovation goes unrewarded, project governance is still suffering, IT is underfunded and skills are not meeting demand.

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

One respondent said “from a Victorian perspective I can't help that think that the government spin doctors have managed to make themselves look better than they are. One of the most telling problems is that key agencies will not accept a whole of government approach.”

Another described our report as a “very clear and accurate snapshot” but added “Victoria probably came out of it looking better than it should”.

In response, the Napthine Government has been quick to point to the IT legacy inherited – as so vividly illustrated by the state’s Ombudsman in 2011.

It has vehemently denied that tech progress has stagnated.

“Over the past three years, the Coalition has driven a significant reform agenda in the Government’s use of ICT,” said a spokesman, listing the following achievements:

  • “We set up VICTAC, a joint government-private sector committee with highly-experienced IT professionals, to advise government on its ICT agenda and strategy.
  • "We opened up eServices to the sector by reforming the old restricted panel structure and replacing it with an inclusive and open register model.
  • "The Government released over 2000 datasets including spatial data via our new DataVic Access Policy.
  • "We released the first Victorian State Government ICT Strategy and, this May, we released an updated strategy for 2014-2015, focusing on cloud, mobility and community access.
  • "The Government is outsourcing the ICT infrastructure and services provided by CenITex and moving towards the management of the procurement of outsourced services.
  • "Last month, a new approach to Victorian Government telecommunications and ICT services procurement was announced, with $9.5 million over four years allocated to transform Victorian Government purchases and telecommunications and ICT management.
  • "The Minister for Technology recently announced a $12 million fund for innovation projects in Government ICT.”

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.

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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.
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