Gershon review the right medicine for public sector ICT

Gershon review the right medicine for public sector ICT

Tanner to maximise $10 billion of ICT assets

To avoid game playing and internal wars, Hodgkinson said the number one goal should be to look to the future rather than try and retrofit the past.

"Close the stable door and calm the horses - rather than run around chasing the ones that have already bolted," he said.

"The focus should be on making better ICT investment decisions from an enterprise perspective by putting in place practical, light touch, investment management processes within each agency and at Cabinet level, to drive decision making towards more coherent and shared infrastructure outcomes with one funding decision at a time," he said adding that these decisions should support both Connected Government and productivity goals.

"It is much easier, and quite frankly more fun, to have constructive win-win discussions at budget time around how to deploy discretionary funds for the best whole-of-government effect than it is to engage in win-lose arm wrestling with agencies about reengineering sunk investments and deciding who will steal who's data centre or who's application 'wins' to become the common platform.

"Its is about creating incentives for agencies to benefit from phased transition to better ways of operating, rather than marshalling the unwilling into a forced march."

Hodgkinson said the challenge for Gershon and Steward will be to weigh up the very real dangers of whole-of-government projects in the federal government - which by their size, complexity and convoluted governance are high risk - with the potential benefits of consolidation and rationalization of ICT infrastructure, common applications and vendor relationships.

He said there is a big difference between good numbers in the cell of a spreadsheet and the ability to actually bring these numbers to life.

"It is all to easy to let the consultants get carried away with their spreadsheets," Hodgkinson warned.

Gershon was awarded the Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 2000 for services to industry and knighted in 2004 for his work on public procurement.

He has asked that the Australian Government make a donation to a charity in lieu of any remuneration.

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