11 August 2008 | Helen Gilbert
Sir Peter Gershon will next month complete an efficiency review of the Australian government's AUS$16 billion (£7.5 billion) information and communication technology (ICT) system.
The review, which began in April, is to address the "unco-ordinated spending" which, according to Australian finance minister Lindsay Tanner, happened under the [previous] Howard government and led to "serious inefficiencies and cost blowouts".
The Australian government has approximately AUS$10 billion (£4.7 billion) in ICT assets and spends around AUS$6 billion (£2.8 billion) each year on procurement, maintenance, development and staff costs.
Gershon, who helped the UK government to achieve an estimated £23 billion in budget savings, is heading the review. He has invited major suppliers and trade organisations to discuss current practice and scope for improvement.
So far more than 60 responses from businesses have been received, as well as input from the Community and Public Sector Union, Australian Computer Society and Australian Information Industry Association.
Gershon has also begun consultations with nine Australian government agencies including the tax office, immigration, the department of foreign affairs and trade and Medicare.
Tanner said: "I am pleased the review is benefiting from a high level of cooperation and consideration from Australian government agencies, the ICT industry in Australia and other interest groups."