05 April 2017

Government spending on IT up almost 50%

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The Federal government is splurging on information technology with projected costs at nearly $10 billion for this financial year.

Spending has soared from $6.7 billion in the 2014-2015 financial year to 9.3 billion from 2015-2016. This is expected to grow by another $300 million this year, as confirmed by the office of Digital Transformation Minister Angus Taylor.

Mr Taylor attributes the increase to playing digital catch-up after years of “neglect and under-spending on vital IT infrastructure” but that the benefits of modernising Australia’s federal departments would prove to be money well spent.

"Everyone understands that the business of good government these days requires good IT, good data and good processes.
"We in the government have come to that conclusion and the truth is that future governments will get as much if not more of the payback than us but it's the right thing to do for Australia.
"Too many governments have put this off. We can't keep putting it off."
The announcements follows a myriad of public sector IT disasters, including the Australian Taxation Office and Australian Bureau of Statistics.

A few months ago an IT crash saw vast amounts of data stored by the ATO lost and customer service websites were brought down.

But Paul Shetler, the Digital Transformation Agency’s former Chief Executive Officer, blames the digital failure on the poor training of public service staff, describing the reliance on outsourcing as “expensive” and “wasteful”.

Written by: Claire Dowler

Claire Dowler is a Conference Producer with Akolade. She recently graduated with a double degree: a Bachelor of Journalism and a Bachelor of Media and Communications Studies majoring in International Communication. Claire minored in sarcasm and puns.
A ballroom-dancer who collects salt and pepper shakers and volunteers for animal rescue, you might say Claire has eclectic interests.

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