New era for Vic government IT

Victoria's recently re-elected Labor party will create two new government agencies to oversee IT services and decisions state-wide.Labor is consolidating IT functions across the state government which it claimed in its pre-election policy would save AU$20 million over four years.

Victoria's recently re-elected Labor party will create two new government agencies to oversee IT services and decisions state-wide.

Labor is consolidating IT functions across the state government which it claimed in its pre-election policy would save AU$20 million over four years.

The machinery of government changes will see the Office of the CIO broken up and replaced by a new Information Systems and Infrastructure Office, within the Department of Treasury and Finance (DTF).

The new office will provide leadership on all government-wide IT issues, according to a government spokesperson.

-The government is integrating across-government ICT functions, from procurement through to the way it interacts with the community," the spokesperson said.

A Shared Services Centre will also be created within DTF to provide IT services to all government departments, said the spokesperson.

The government also confirmed an earlier report by ZDNet Australia that Victorian government CIO Jane Treadwell and some staff will move to the Department of Victorian Communities (DVC).

-Programs to help the government better interact with the community will now be handled by the Department of Victorian Communities," said the spokesperson.

Treadwell's title and branch within DVC was still being negotiated, she said.

Other OCIO staff will move to the DTF.

Treadwell's former deputy at the Office of the CIO, Dr Steve Hodgkinson, now public sector research director with analyst firm Ovum, said the government had always planned that the Office would not stay part of the Department of Premier and Cabinet.

However, he was disappointed with the new arrangements.

-It's very disappointing that they seem to be moving away from the whole concept of the Office of the CIO, but the government has struggled over the last two years to make the Office successful.

-In some ways this reflects that the format wasn't right, but they're re-jigging it from a finance perspective rather than a strategic one.

-From an academic point of view, it's not what you would recommend because IT is a strategic asset. This way, it becomes part of a cost-cutting agenda," he said.

Industry development agency Multimedia Victoria (MMV) will also undergo changes.

Currently part of the Department of Infrastructure, MMV will be renamed next year and operate as part of the Department of Innovation, Industry & Regional Development.

Multimedia Victoria executive director Randall Straw declined to comment on the changes, while Treadwell was unable to be contacted by the time of writing.