The Federal Government has still not formulated a response to Ian Reinecke’s report into IT spending cuts the 2008 Gershon review, more than a year after the report was handed down.
Speaking to officials and industry representatives at the Technology in Government & Public Sector Summit, special minister of state Gary Gray said the Reinecke report was being “actively dealt” with by the Government.
He said it “took him a while to get on top of things in a way that gives me sufficient confidence to make the kind of decisions that you would expect a Minister to make.”
The Gershon review recommended that the Government reduce inefficiencies in its everyday IT activities.
Reinecke’s report revealed the havoc that confronted several agencies when required to implement the recommendations to achieve Gershon's proposed savings.
It also recommended a clearer and more effective role for the Australian Government Information Management Office (AGIMO).
AGIMO did not have the right mix of skills or sufficient resources to cover the full span of its responsibilities from developing policy to supporting delivery, Reinecke found.
In response, Reinecke proposed the creation of another Government IT czar - a Chief Technology Officer (CTO) - to work alongside the present Chief Information Officer (CIO).
Further, he urged that AGIMO be more closely integrated with the Department of Finance to provide implementation support under the leadership of a Chief Technology Officer.
Gray’s prepared speech to the Summit highlighted the benefits of whole of government procurement arrangements.
He said the eight coordinated procurement arrangements in place for the supply of desktop computers, internet connections, mobile phones and data centre facilities would increase purchasing power.
The Microsoft software group purchase, which consolidated licensing for over 80 agencies, had saved over $60 million since the contract was established in January 2009.
Further savings of $8.6 million were made on computer hardware costs in the first year of the desktop hardware panel.
He said the Government had been paying 56 percent more than the Australian average price for desktop computing in the past. Now it was paying 30 percent less.