ICT System Cost $80 Million Annually

ICT System Cost $80 Million Annually

Queensland Minister for Information Technology Ros Bates

High Cost Of Repairing Labor’s ICT Legacy

Victor P Taffa

Information Technology Minister Ros Bates has slammed the former Labor Government for the appalling ICT mess it left behind.

At Estimates hearing Ms. Bates said that more than half (approximately 53 %) of the Queensland Government ICT systems had been found to be out-dated, and that it would cost between $3.7 Billion and $6 Billion to replace them.

“An interim ICT audit has uncovered a mess of mismatched, miscellaneous and duplicated systems that in many cases have been patched beyond proper repair.” Ms. Bate said.

“About 10 % of the network was in such poor technical condition that it required urgent replacement at a cost of approximately $196 Million.”

“What I’ve uncovered since being appointed as the first Minister responsible for whole of Government ICT, is a case of almost criminal neglect of the state’s network.”

“It has become clear that the former Labor Government gave little or no thought whatsoever to ICT, despite the fact that an efficient and effective ICT system is crucial to proper government.”

“This was a Government which presided over the $1.25 Billion Health payroll debacle and which spent more than $200 Million on an email system that ended up costing taxpayers $22,000 per email.”

“However the really telling indictment is that despite making these points over and over again in the six months I’ve been in office, Labor has not been able to rebut a single statement I’ve made.”

The Interim ICT audit also discovered 17 % of technologies within the Queensland Government are either on extended support or are currently unsupported.

Ms. Bates said the Department of Community Safety Payroll system, which moved out of vendor support four years ago, is now supported by Queensland Shared Services on a best effort basis.

“Exacerbating the problem was the fact that the workforce supporting this archaic system have specialised knowledge, but many of these people are now at retirement age.” Ms. Bates said.

The audit also found a very high level of duplication of investment; uncovering for example that there were 128 Case Management Systems, 190 Financial Management Systems and 109 Document and Record Management systems. The estimated cost of operating these systems alone is more than $80 Million annually.