SA Govt cuts $3.75m from networking spend

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SA Govt cuts $3.75m from networking spend

Reduces spam, download costs.

The South Australian Government has cut its IT operational expenditure by $3.75 million this year by reducing telecommunications, contractor and internet download costs.

The state's Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO) has reported spending a total of $31.5 million to operate government wide area network, StateNet, in the 12 months to 30 June 2012.

Finance minister Michael O’Brien told iTnews this week that the OCIO had reduced its StateNet operational costs by 12 percent.

O'Brien said the government had saved $445,000 by moving telecommunications access and network carriage services to “providers offering more competitive pricing”.

Rationalisation and consolidation of telecommunications equipment to regional areas cut costs by a further $450,000, with more savings expected in the next financial year.

O’Brien said the government had reduced its “internet download costs”, noting that agencies had downloaded a total of 470 TB of data to its central data network in the 12-month period.

He said the OCIO had reduced its download costs by $506,000 through negotiations with its service provider.

A further $1.68 million in savings was credited to contractor expenditure reductions, performance efficiencies, “a restructure of positions and resources reductions in several business areas”.

“Like all SA Government agencies, the OCIO has been required to achieve savings in the 2010-11 and 2011-12 State Budgets,” O’Brien said.

“Savings of $3.75m have been achieved in 2011-12, representing 12 percent of the operational expenditure budget of the Office of the CIO.”

Network investments

O’Brien noted that the government had needed to invest in ICT infrastructure “to allow greater throughput capacity and inspection of ... increased traffic for malicious activity”.

He said spam accounted for about 90 percent of the emails hitting the State Government’s email system, with the central SA Government electronic messaging system (SAGEMS) on track to block 260 million spam messages in the 12 months to 30 June.

Agencies were “on track to receive 31 million legitimate emails” in that period, he reported.

O’Brien said SAGEMS enabled “economies of scale and increased messaging security for SA Government agencies through the centralisation of management and services”.

SA Government chief information officer Andrew Mills last year revealed that his office had spent 12 years on moving agencies to a single email system.

A OCIO spokeswoman told iTnews that SAGEMS had been operational since 1996, but moved over to Telstra in November 2006.

O’Brien said spam had decreased, although the volume of legitimate email had “remained relatively constant”.

Meanwhile, the volume of phone calls made through the government’s central voice network had decreased from 14.4 million in the 2010-11 financial year to 13.2 million this year.

O’Brien attributed the phone volume reduction to the South Australian Police’s decision to implement and manage a new PABX system outside of the OCIO’s voice network.

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