The Victorian Government announced today that it would spend AU$9.5 million over four years to overhaul the way it manages and purchases its information and communication technology (ICT) services.
The multimillion dollar investment will go towards the creation of a "government cloud — a secure private data network" and a government ICT marketplace aimed at providing access for multiple suppliers to government procurement spending.
The funding is part of the development of the government's VicConnect program, which will replace the existing Telecommunications Purchasing and Management Strategy (TPAMS).
"VicConnect will create a marketplace for technology services by providing access for multiple suppliers to government ICT spending," said the Minister for Technology, Gordon Rich-Phillips, in a statement.
"This will increase the choice of services available to departments, increase competition between suppliers and drive innovation and better value for money outcomes for government.
"TPAMS was established over ten years ago. Since then, the telecommunications and broader ICT industry has changed dramatically, as has the size and nature of government demand for ICT."
According to Rich-Phillips, the changes are expected to offer a "substantial opportunity" to improve how the Victorian Government purchases and manages telecommunications and other ICT services.
A three stage procurement process is currently underway to identify an organisation with the capacity and capability to perform the role of the VicConnect Manager, which will be responsible for designing, implementing, and managing the VicConnect services and platform.
For Rich-Phillips, the multimillion dollar investment is aimed at cutting back on the cost of services as well as providing greater access to new technologies.
"The strategic aim of the VicConnect Program is to reduce the cost of telecommunications services and allow Victorian Government departments to access new, inexpensive and powerful technologies — including cloud services, mobility devices and other ICT services — that will enhance government service delivery.
"VicConnect will create a marketplace for technology services by providing access for multiple suppliers to government ICT spending. This will increase the choice of services available to departments, increase competition between suppliers and drive innovation and better value for money outcomes for government," he said.
The new funding comes as the federal government's Commission of Audit report, released yesterday, makes recommendations for a greater uptake of cloud computing services in government.
The Victorian Government announced in March that it was undertaking market consultation as part of its intention to transform its decade-old TPAMS system into the new, VicConnect platform.
The new funding plan follows Rich-Phillip’s renewed call for feedback and community consultation in February as part of its ICT strategy, which the government unveiled last year. The government first tabled its draft ICT strategy in late 2012.