Tasmania to get AU$28m whole-of-government IT fund

The Tasmanian government will spend AU$28 million over the next four years on a number of projects aimed at overhauling government IT systems in the Apple Isle.
Written by Josh Taylor, Contributor on

The Tasmanian government plans to create a AU$28 million Information Communications Technology Fund to overhaul department and agency IT across the state.

Detailed in the state's budget released today, the government said that historically agencies have managed their own funding and planning for IT projects, but the government was now looking at taking a more coordinated approach for IT in an environment that was changing rapidly and required the involvement of a number of agencies. Shifting to a whole-of-government IT approach would also address financial pressures, the Tasmanian budget paper stated.

The fund will get an initial allocation of AU$4 million in 2013-2014 and would increase by AU$2 million every year until 2016-2017 when it will receive AU$10 million, for a total of AU$28 million.

The ICT Policy Board will determine which projects get funded. The budget suggests that several programs including the integrated government contact centre, budget information management system, criminal justice information management system, emergency despatch system and student management system could all be funded through this program.

Separately, the budget outlines that the criminal justice information management system, which will store documents associated with the Tasmanian criminal justice system, will receive AU$573,000 per year from 2015-2016.

The budget also stated that AU$4.4 million will be allocated separately to the integrated Tasmanian government contact centre project. This project will bring together the government contact centres across Tasmania to reduce the overall cost of running the centres.

The government today reported a budget that would see a deficit of AU$425 million in 2013-2014. The Tasmanian Premier Lara Giddings today said in a Budget speech that echoed that of Federal Treasurer Wayne Swan's speech last week, that delaying the budget surplus was better than making harder cuts in spending.

"We could have achieved our targets by making deeper cuts but that would have resulted in an unacceptable impact on services, and risk setting back the recovery we are seeing in our economy," she said.

"We have had to balance ongoing fiscal discipline with the need to plan for the future and provide targeted stimulus which means we have not increased taxes or introduced new taxes."

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