Govt to publish dashboard of expensive IT projects

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Govt to publish dashboard of expensive IT projects

Sets DTA mid-year deadline.

The federal government will release a public list detailing all Commonwealth IT projects worth more than $10 million by the middle of this year.

Assistant Minister for Digital Transformation Angus Taylor today revealed the Digital Transformation Agency has been given a mid-2017 deadline to complete the report.

He described it as an effort to “make sure we’re delivering what the public needs, we’re avoiding duplication, and we have the right processes in place to minimise disruption to public services”.

The report will list the costs, benefits, risks, and status of all initiatives over $10 million, or that "engage a large number of Australians".

“The DTA will ensure we’re investing in the right technology projects, we can track their  implementation, and know they will deliver on the public policy benefits they promise,” Taylor said.

The report is intended to provide opportunities for greater co-ordination within the federal government, which spends roughly $6.2 billion on IT every year.

It will be authored by the DTA’s new investment management office, which has been set up as part of the digital agency’s late 2016 restructure to act as a watchdog for underperforming IT projects.

The report follows in the footsteps of similar work carried out in Queensland, when then-government CIO Peter Grant presented government with a 1000-page audit on the state government’s IT landscape and its weaknesses.

In 2008, the federal Labor government commissioned the milestone Gershon review into public sector IT, which shaped its technology strategy for years after.

The incoming Liberal government promised a similar IT spending audit in the lead up to the 2013 election.

However the subsequent report, which was only released due to an FOI application, failed to go into any depth. Its authors complained the desktop-based review was marred by “resource constraints” and that selective self-reporting from agencies “bordered on strategic misrepresentation”.

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