Under moves to revitalise the Commonwealth’s policy agenda, the Australian government is understood to be establishing an ICT advisory board that refines the blueprint for reforms in the New Year.
Details about this board are not yet available, however, support future policy formulation involving the administration’s technology, communications, financial management, and service delivery portfolios.
The Coalition government has set its sights on wide-spread ICT and financial management reforms, as outlined last week by Australian Treasurer Mr Joe Hockey Finance Reportcard.
The Commonwealth’s ICT strategy, developed by the Department of Finance, comes up for review, setting new performance and auditing benchmarks involving public sector performance. These moves are designed to ensure the administration lives within its means, while managing budgets and services in a cost-conscious environment.
An end-of-the year report-card about public sector innovation is being explored at next month’s flagship 4th Annual FutureGov Summit Australia.
This summit, being held 2-3 December at Canberra’s Convention Centre, is expected to offer some clarity about future policy directions. Among the presentations, the Australian Government CIO, Mr Glenn Archer Australian Government Information Management Office (AGIMO) shares insights into the use of ICT to drive the future of government. This presentation explores strategies that align and develop common approaches for technology spend. Delivering on the public sector’s ICT strategy also comes up for discussion.
In another address, the Commonwealth’s Minister for Communications Mr Malcolm Turnbull offers updates about a new communications strategy, delivering nationwide high-speed, fast-access services.
Mr Turnbull’s opening presentation sets the stage for two days of informed discussion and debate, galvanising more than 40 Australian and international speakers.
The FutureGov Australia summit is complemented by a co-located 3rd Regional GovCFO Forum being held Monday 2 December. This forum features the finance chiefs of lead agencies, in Australia and internationally.
Combined, the two gatherings explore technology and financial management innovation, in a post-election year. Broadly, the incoming administration seeks to align spending programmes with a closer scrutiny of government spending.
The Coalition’s roadmap was outlined earlier in a Policy Action Plan. This document canvasses an “aggressive reform agenda to ensure value for money in ICT procurement.” The focus is on transparency of expenditure, as well as better services for taxpayers, and every dollar spent.
The Coalition, under the leadership of Prime Minister Mr Tony Abbott, plans to improve the transparency of government ICT spending. This incorporates launching a US-style online dashboard so taxpayers can assess the performance and progress of major projects, among other changes.
Australia’s public sector accounts for about a third of GDP. Many programmes are difficult to implement without a cost-effective use of technology. The administration is examining key sectors of policy, while managing the cost of running government.