Tuesday, 12 February 2013 18:57

Victorian Government reveals revamped ICT strategy


During the last two decades or so, successive Victorian Governments have been keen on ICT industry strategy, but the Baillieu Government has now revealed how it plans to improve its own use of technology.

Announcing the Victorian Government's new ICT strategy, the Assistant Treasurer and Technology Minister Gordon Rich-Phillips said the 50-point action plan had been developed following rigorous consultation with industry and the public. He also took the opportunity to criticise the previous Brumby Government for what he said was "at least $1.44 billion of taxpayers' money wasted in cost blowouts on projects like HealthSMART, myki and the LEAP database."

The strategy [PDF] notes the changes in Victorians' expectations about the use of ICT to communicate with governments. While 78% of Australian internet users accessed government services or information online in 2011, almost one-third of Victorians were no more than somewhat satisfied with their last online engagement with government.

There's also the increasing access to high-speed broadband (though the NBN only warrants a single mention by name, and that's tucked away on the Acknowledgements page), Big Data, the desire to think again about which ICT services should be delivered in-house, and alleged gaps in ICT leadership, governance and skills.

Measures planned by the Victorian Government include greater use of apps and mobile-friendly web sites, improved information sharing between systems (with due attention to privacy, security, etc), further release of Government datasets where appropriate (either free or at minimal cost), and the use of interactive or social technologies for the co-design and co-production of public services.

The Government also intends to bolster its project management and project assurance capability, adopt modern delivery techniques such as Agile, engage with suppliers earlier and more flexibly, reuse systems wherever possible, withdraw from direct delivery of infrastructure services, and improve internal technical and governance capability.

"Victoria's ICT industry has a wealth of expertise and we look forward to a closer and more productive relationship in the future," said Rich-Phillips.

The AIIA welcomed the strategy. Board chairman Kee Wong said “Businesses and communities are driving increasing demand for mobile technology and online services. We welcome the positive steps that the Victorian Government is taking to embrace technology advances and transform service delivery to meet these demands."

Wong added "It is encouraging to see the Victorian Government recognise past mistakes in the development and delivery of ICT-enabled initiatives and look at alternative principles."

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Stephen Withers

Stephen Withers is one of Australia¹s most experienced IT journalists, having begun his career in the days of 8-bit 'microcomputers'. He covers the gamut from gadgets to enterprise systems. In previous lives he has been an academic, a systems programmer, an IT support manager, and an online services manager. Stephen holds an honours degree in Management Sciences and a PhD in Industrial and Business Studies.

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