Aus Government to review all major ICT projects

The Commonwealth Government will review all significant government technology projects aiming to provide greater transparency and oversight of Government’s $A6.2 billion annual ICT spend.

"We need to make sure we’re delivering what the public needs, we’re avoiding duplication, and we have the right processes in place to minimise disruption to public services," said Assistant Minister for Digital Transformation Angus Taylor.

“A new investment management office within the Digital Transformation Agency (DTA) will analyse ICT and digital technology investments.

"The DTA will ensure we’re investing in the right technology projects, we can track their implementation, and know they will deliver on the public policy benefits they promise.

"This is more than a review, it’s ongoing oversight, and it will provide unprecedented visibility and centralised management of IT projects."

The review will include all non-corporate Commonwealth entities and all active projects over $10 million in value or those that engage a large number of Australians.

The review is expected to report to Government by mid-2017.

King & Wood Mallesons Special Counsel, Stephen Mason believes how the review of active projects will operate in practice is currently unclear.

“The review is expected to report to Government by mid-2017, but media reports have estimated up to 100 projects will be involved. The review may set benchmarks and standards for new ICT procurements, or it may go further and recommend changes in approach to current procurements where that would not be too disruptive.

“The review offers the opportunity to collect the “lessons learned” from ICT procurements and share them more widely.

“In the first instance, we expect the review will engage with Commonwealth entities to understand in detail the current projects, risk identification and assessment processes used, risk allocations, contracting and pricing models used, key contract terms and contract management arrangements, as well as the outcomes achieved so far.

“We expect Commonwealth entities will need to be able to provide that summary information quickly and efficiently, and be in a position to explain the rationale behind the procurement, contracting and management approaches they have taken as well as the reasons for any failure to meet the contract schedule and how that has been managed. It appears that they will also need to plan their future procurement activities with scope to involve DTA at key points on the procurement schedule.”

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