28 November 2008 | Jake Kanter
The Australian government is to halve its information and communication technology (ICT) suppliers over the next three years in a bid to save Aus $400 million (£171 million).
The cull will begin immediately as the government acts on recommendations made by Sir Peter Gershon in his efficiency review of ICT in the Australian public sector. He was drafted in earlier this year to address the government's "uncoordinated" spending on technology (News, 14 August).
In the review Gershon noted there was "weak governance" of technology spend and government departments have a high level of autonomy, but very little of the "time equals money" attitude of the private sector.
ICT review teams will work with the departments to help reduce budgets and the number of suppliers. Half of the targeted $400 million savings will be reinvested into government ICT systems.
Lindsay Tanner, minister for finance and deregulation, said in a statement: "This savings exercise will not impede service delivery to citizens and businesses. Reductions averaging 15 per cent for larger agencies and 7.5 per cent for mid-sized agencies are expected and achievable."