Libs slam govt on Software Qld resignation

Libs slam govt on Software Qld resignation

Summary: Queensland's Shadow IT Minister Ros Bates has attacked the State Government over the resignation of Software Queensland board member Bruce Mills.

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Queensland's Shadow IT Minister Ros Bates has attacked the State Government over the resignation of Software Queensland board member Bruce Mills.

Mills resigned from the board of Software Queensland in order to avoid having a role in the Queensland ICT Industry Workgroup, which Software Queensland takes part in.

He had resigned after feeling pressured indirectly by IT Minister Simon Finn, because Mills' critical blogs about government IT policies clashed with his role in the workgroup.

Mills has criticised the government on multiple subjects such as the reasoning behind the decision to create a new, powerful state government CIO position and the selection process for the planned position.

The minister's office said there were no truth in the claims and declined to comment further.

Yet Bates has taken Mills' comments to heart.

"All he wanted to do was to assist the State Government to improve service delivery of ICT projects, bring them in on budget and ensure Queenslanders received value for money," Bates said.

"But instead of listening to experts in the industry — the minister has simply forced him out."

Bates then spoke about some of Queensland's troubled government IT projects, such as the Queensland Health payroll issue and the recent delay in rolling out the OneSchool financials system, Agresso.

"This government simply can't afford to lose valuable advice — frankly, it needs all the help it can get," Bates said.

Software Queensland chair John Vickers said in a blog post that he was sorry Mills had decided to resign, adding that if he was "ever in a trench on the front line, Bruce is the kind of guy I would choose to stand next to me".

He also criticised the OneSchool project, saying that the delays were the price of "acquiring a solution without a robust tender acquisition process, with overseas development activity taking place (always a bad idea), and perhaps too much complexity for schools".

He repeated previous comments that he would like to see policy changes, where direct government departments share the products they use before they buy Australian products. Vickers thought it should happen before they buy international products, with building products being a last resort.

Professional project management was also required to stop the "plethora of failures and mishaps", he said.

"We want to attract the youngsters to a vibrant, galvanising industry, not one which looks like a basket case," he said. "Above all, we want to be the 'Smart State' once more, and hold our heads high on the international business stage."

Topics: Government, Government AU, Outage

Suzanne Tindal

About Suzanne Tindal

Suzanne Tindal cut her teeth at ZDNet.com.au as the site's telecommunications reporter, a role that saw her break some of the biggest stories associated with the National Broadband Network process. She then turned her attention to all matters in government and corporate ICT circles. Now she's taking on the whole gamut as news editor for the site.

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