NSW depts to dip into ICT savings pool

Earlier this month the NSW Government set the stage to let eligible departments dip into funds from its Information and Communications Technology Reinvestment Pool.

Earlier this month the NSW Government set the stage to let eligible departments dip into funds from its Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Reinvestment Pool.

The NSW treasury released its ICT Reinvestment Pool documents (PDF) in early August 2010.

The money for the pool will be drawn from the NSW Government's "Better Services and Value Plan" that aimed to potentially reduce costs by almost $240 million or 15 per cent in the next two years. The pool will be comprised of 50 per cent of the savings from the NSW Government's ICT review.

The ICT Reinvestment Pool aims to improve the long-term efficiency of ICT resources across a range of NSW government departments. It will bankroll projects "that enhance, extend and/or create a new capability that improves the efficiency and effectiveness of an existing ICT activity", which includes the replacement of high-maintenance legacy software and hardware and server virtualisation.

Grants will be determined by an evaluation committee headed by senior officers from NSW Treasury; the Department of Premier and Cabinet; the Department of Services, Technology and Administration; and an independent adviser presumably from the ICT industry.

Among other criteria, projects will be considered in light of risk analysis, return on investment and cross-department savings.

Departments are encouraged to think big in their applications, with a minimum spend of $250,000. As a result, the ICT Reinvestment Pool will not fund feasibility studies, current ICT operation costs and other minor enhancements such as "applying installing service packs, providing break-fixes, minor enhancements".

(Front page image credit: Australia Dollars image by InfoMofo, CC BY-SA 2.0)

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