The NSW shadow minister responsible for Government ICT spending has signalled a revamp in the way it handles ICT procurement if it wins power on March 26, 2011.
During a speech to Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA) members in Sydney, the Shadow Minister for Financial Management, Greg Pearce, criticised the Labor Government and claimed it hadn’t used ICT effectively.
“My personal view is that ICT needs to be more front and centre for Government and that it’s a key driver for economic growth and productivity,” he said. “The current contracting and tender processes are widely considered to be too costly, too slow, poorly designed, poorly specified, uncommercial and that’s a focus of mine.”
Pearce also criticised the Government’s data centre consolidation tender for not better investigating cloud computing, virtualisation and other alternatives to owning and running data centre infrastructure.
“We really needed to test the proposition and that didn’t happen,” he said. “But if it’s signed [by the time we enter power] then we will honour the contract…I don’t want to make the data centre contract a political football.”
When asked by ARN, Pearce would not commit to any cuts or increases to NSW Government spending on ICT but added it should cost taxpayers less.
“ICT is a commodity that should be cheaper and give you more value,” he said. “We actually should be spending less on it because it should be delivering more as technology improves and we use it better.”
The shadow minister also criticised the Labor’s approach to its creation and managing of super agencies, but he did not promise any changes to the arrangement.
“They still have a system where agencies formally listed as being in a cluster aren’t doing much to share resources,” he said. “My own personal view…is that given all the other issues we’ll have to deal with, it’d be crazy to embark on a reorganisation of the clusters.
“They’re pretty reasonable when you look at it and it’d be better to get on with delivering better savings from them.”