Australian government reviews $6.2 billion annual ICT spending program

The Australian government’s annual $6.2 billion spending program has come under scrutiny in a comprehensive review unveiled by Angus Taylor, the federal assistant minister for digital transformation.

The Commonwealth’s high-profile ICT procurement program will be under the microscope during a comprehensive review that seeks greater transparency and accountability for high-profile spending programs.

This review, unveiled by the assistant minister for digital transformation, Angus Taylor, will be led by a recently-established Investment Management Office with the Digital Transformation Agency (DTA).

Findings from this review are being relayed to the administration by mid-2017. Investigations will include all non-corporate Commonwealth entities, as well as active projects over $10 million, or those that engage a large number of Australians.

Assistant minister Taylor said the goal is to provide a comprehensive picture of ICT and digital technology investments. The administration should be able to see the costs, benefits, risks and status of these initiatives.

"We need to make sure we’re delivering what the public needs,” said Taylor. “We’re avoiding duplication, and we have the right processes in place to minimise disruption to public services."

He said the DTA will ensure the administration is investing in the right technology projects. “We can track their implementation, and know they will deliver on the public policy benefits they promise.”

The latest exercise is more than a review. “It’s an ongoing oversight, and will provide unprecedented visibility and centralised management of IT projects,” noted Taylor.

One of the key capabilities of the expanded DTA is to target technology assistance to government departments and agencies, while offering remediation on projects.

The Digital Investment Management Office was created in February 2017. This office will provide oversight of all significant ICT and technology investment projects.

The focus is on strategic approaches to investment analysis, governance, and managing the risk. The aim is to optimise the government’s massive ICT investment portfolio.

Among the initiatives, this office will establish strategic partnerships across government. The entity will provide independent assurance and improved delivery outcomes for agencies and citizens that use online services.



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