Qld govt reduces IT spending by AU$17m

The Queensland government has significantly reduced its IT spending in the last financial year.
Written by Corinne Reichert, Contributor

The Queensland government has saved over AU$17.6 million on IT spending in 2012-13 as a result of its ICT Strategy, according to Minister for Science, Information Technology, Innovation and the Arts Ian Walker.

Walker announced the savings on Sunday, and said that due to the ICT Strategy, the government has been able to locate ways to make savings and prevent replication by pursuing better value contracts and reducing surplus and waste.

"This government is ... cutting down on waste across a number of key areas, including telecommunications, printing, and vendor management," Walker said.

In June, the government released its ICT Audit 2012 in two (PDF) parts (PDF). The audit, which stated that the government is relying too heavily on the "1990s 'build, own, and maintain' approach to IT", and as such could not fully adopt cloud, also outlined the areas in which IT spending could be decreased, particularly with regards to waste. At the end of August, the government then launched an IT action plan (PDF) for achieving the goals set out in the ICT Strategy.

The highest savings this financial year were made in the Queensland Police Service (QPS), which reported reduced spending of AU$6.1 million. Just last month, however, a review by former Australian Federal Police Commissioner Mick Keelty (PDF) found that QPS is "significantly behind other policing agencies in the country and overseas".

AU$3.6 million was dropped from Queensland Health's IT expenditure, Walker said. This follows the Queensland Health payroll debacle, which resulted in thousands of staff members being underpaid, overpaid, or unpaid. In August, a report from the AU$5 million Queensland Health Payroll System Commission of Inquiry (PDF) found that IBM should not have won the contract to build the new payroll system for Queensland Health in 2007. The government has estimated that the total cost of the system for Queensland taxpayers will be AU$1.2 billion.

The state government has forecast an IT saving of AU$16 million in 2013-14.

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