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AU: Government Releases Major ICT Reform Report
Source: arnnet.com.au
Source Date: Thursday, November 18, 2010
Focus: ICT for MDGs
Country: Australia
Created: Nov 18, 2010

Special Minister of State, Gary Gray, has released a report into the Australian Government’s ICT reform program.

The review headed by Dr. Ian Reinecke was first started in March 2010 and aimed to provide an independent assessment of work done on the ICT reform program with special reference to the affects of the Gershon Review.

According to Ovum public sector analyst, Kevin Noonan, the Reinecke Report will provide a granular roadmap for the Australia Government Information Office (AGIMO). Reinecke investigated seven areas of the program to identify things in need of improvement.

According to a letter sent from Reinecke to Gray’s predecessor, Lindsay Tanner, the review held more than 40 interviews involving over 100 ICT industry leaders and stakeholders.

“For the full promise of technology to be realised some changes are necessary, principally in ensuring simple and effective governance arrangement are in place and that Government marshals its human and financial resources effectively for the challenges ahead,” he said in the letter. “This review makes a set of recommendations that are directed at facilitating the transition to what is being described as the post-Gershon era.”

The Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA) issued a statement welcoming the report’s release and claiming it moved in the right direction. It agreed with the report on the need to establish a Chief Technology Officer, but said the CTO should report directly to the Prime Minister.

“This report recognises that those efficiencies will be created through better use and management of ICT, rather than simple cost-cutting,” AIIA CEO, Ian Birks, said. “AIIA otherwise supports the five key recommendations from this report.”

Some of the key recommendations include:

  • For the Government to institute a dedicated Ministerial ICT Committee
  • For two qualified independent members from outside the APS to be added to the Secretaries’ ICT Governance Board (SIGB)
  • For the Department of Finance to undertake an assessment of AGIMO’s capabilities and resources to see if its two major roles can be functionally separated
  • For AGIMO to provide guidance to CEOs, encourage data exchange between agencies
  • To provide futher guidance on shared services including methodologies
  • For AGIMO to be more closely integrated with Finance to provide implementation support under a CTO

The full and public release of the document is in line with earlier comments made by the Minister during an interview with ARN. He said a key part of his role would be to implementing the findings of the report.

“When you look at the reality that comes though Gershon and the granular consideration that comes through Reinecke then you see that the Government needs to operate in a pragmatic and practical way that doesn’t mean you’ll have a controller of IT procurement and delivery for the Australian Government,” he said.

“I also have a fundamental view that when the Government produces a substantial piece of work with insights into how we do what we do you can only get value out of making them available to the public. That’s why Ian’s report will be released.”

To read the Reinecke Report in full, please click here.


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