It begins… Government on track to save $1bn on tech

OK, that was quick! I’ve posted my first freelance story for iTnews: Government on track for $1bn ICT savings: Tanner.

Soon after it was elected the Rudd Government asked UK public-sector efficiency expert Sir Peter Gershon to examine how the government and public service used information technology. This review, completed in August 2008, estimated the Government could save about $1 billion over four years just by rationalising its ‘business-as-usual’ or day-to-day IT spending. All this, apparently, without having to fire lots of people or reduce the number of IT services or the quality of delivery. (The Gershon review also cures warts and reunites long-lost lovers.)

This hasn’t gone without hiccups: Gershon estimated the Government would save $140 million in the first year, which turned out to be more like $109 million in reality. But with round one already in train, the government is pressing ahead with round two.

If it all works, in about four years’ time, the budget will be $1 billion leaner. Or $500 million at least, because half the savings will be put back into more IT stuff, which will generate more efficiency. Before you know it, the whole of government IT will be run on a couple of recycled desktops running Ubuntu!

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