Budget 2010: Gershon savings spur new ICT commitments

Gershon-inspired changes to the way Federal Government agencies use and procure ICT has led to funding for three programs in this year’s Budget.

As part of the Gershon Review, money saved from business as usual (BAU) changes were to be put into a reinvestment fund.

In March, AGIMO flagged money already put into the ICT Business As Usual Reinvestment Fund could be handed out as part of the Budget.

In August last year, it was announced the BAU changes had created $109 million of savings in the 2009/10 financial year. Half of that figure - $54.6 million - was to be immediately available for reinvestment by Federal agencies.

Since then, Minister for Finance and Deregulation Lindsay Tanner claimed "savings of close to $430 million [had been] identified between 2010-11 and 2012-13" and the government was on track to achieving its goal of $1 billion in savings over four years.

Last night the Government outlined funding for the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) ePassport system ($108.8 million), a Central Budget Management System (CBMS) in the Department of Finance and Deregulation (value not provided), and a whole-of-government data centre strategy ($11.9 million) that was announced in March.

“My understanding is the data centre strategy just wouldn’t stack up without that funding because data centres by their nature need a fair bit of priming,” Ovum research director, Kevin Noonan, said. “You have to buy the space and then fill it over time. So you need to spend money up front and you need to find it somewhere. The reinvestment fund has actually delivered on that.”

Noonan said the Gershon-inspired funding was one of the highlights in an otherwise sober budget.

“I’d say it’s the work of a master tradesman rather than an innovative architect,” Noonan said.

“We are not seeing major things to interest and excite us or major new designs, but they have delivered on a lot of promises in the budget from an IT sense as well.”


Copyright © 2010 IDG Communications, Inc.

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