The Department of Finance will make its recommendations to the federal government on the future of the Commonwealth’s $6 billion annual IT investment before 2014 is out, the agency has promised.
The spending check-up – which mirrors that kicked off by Queensland’s LNP government – was one of the IT commitments the Coalition made in its pre-election e-government policy.
Once the Finance audit team finalises its opinions, they will be handed to Finance Minister Mathias Cormann and Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull, who are sharing IT portfolio responsibilities.
A spokesperson for the department told iTnews the team had been asked to:
- Conduct an audit of spending, capital expenditure and outcomes generated by investment in information and communications technology over the past three years; and
- Make recommendations for improvement, with the aim of optimising outcomes from existing and future investments.
She did not identify the personnel assigned to the audit team or who was leading it.
The audit will represent the first critical survey of Commonwealth agency spending habits since the 2008 Gershon Review, which resulted in reform programs such as Canberra’s data centre consolidation, and set targets for reducing the Government’s dependence on IT contractors.
Since Gershon, Finance has been working to benchmark high-level IT spending every year, but has not yet filed a report on any period after 2011-12. This latest survey was released nearly 18 months ago in May 2013.
The Government has also promised a new e-government strategy - to replace the APS ICT Strategy issued by its Labor predecessors - before 2014 is out.
Members of the Finance Department’s whole-of-government oversight team have been using the pre-election policy as a blueprint for their activities in the interim.