British efficiency expert Sir Peter Gershon has handed the Rudd Government his final review, recommending sweeping changes to the government's use and $6 billion procurement of technology.
The review that has had Canberra's agency heads on edge since Gershon was appointed in April was handed to Minister for Finance and Deregulation Lindsay Tanner today.
"My recommendations involve a major program of both administrative reform and cultural change within the Australian Public Service," Gershon said in a statement. "The Australian Government through implementing these recommendations can drive significant improvements in its use of ICT," he added.
Details of the review have not been made public, however, it is believed to outline a three-year staged plan for the implementation of Gershon's recommendations.
"The model proposed by Sir Peter details a number of critical areas where we can maximise the returns from our ICT investment and improve our institutional arrangements to realise greater benefits," said Tanner in a statement.
Tanner's statement was made with some faith in the details of the report. A spokesperson for the minister said Tanner had not read the report yet but would do so over the weekend.
Some whole-of-government arrangements have already been set in motion, with Defence recently releasing a tender that will see it become the sole negotiator for all federal agencies' procurement of Microsoft software.
It is not known whether Gershon has recommended staff cuts, but a similar review conducted by Gershon in the UK in 2004 led to major job cuts after he identified overlapping and duplicated functions.
An increased focus on shared services between government agencies is expected following the review — a task that would rely heavily on the Australian Government Information Management Office (AGIMO), which is responsible for ICT interoperability and standards in government.
Reports emerged earlier this week that the government had already established a centralised procurement arm within AGIMO, although this was denied by a spokesperson.
No date has been given by the government for public release of the review's details, however Tanner is expected to deliver a speech to government officials on ICT procurement next week, which could shed some light on it.