WA looks to cut IT costs with state budget

WA Government wants to redirect $25m into an ICT Renewal and Reform fund

Approximately $110 million will be cut from the ICT budgets of a range of WA government departments and agencies, with the state government looking to put $25 million of the savings into an ICT Renewal and Reform fund.

The state government announced in March it would establish the ICT Renewal and Reform Fund and appoint the state government’s first chief information officer to drive IT savings.

The initial focus of the CIO, who will sit within the department of finance, will be reducing the cost of ICT across government and enhancing transparency in the delivery of major projects, budget documents state.

“The GCIO will develop a whole-of-government ICT plan, which will focus on establishing benchmarks, smarter procurement and more innovative service delivery models,” documents state.

“The GCIO will also lead decision-making regarding the allocation of the ICT Renewal and Reform Fund, and chair the Director’s General ICT Steering Committee.”

According to 2015-16 budget papers released yesterday, the government has earmarked IT-related savings of almost $38 million for the Department of Education

Meanwhile the WA Police will save $25.4 million over four years. The Public Transport Authority will be expected to make $14.1 million in savings while the Attorney General’s Department will need to make $8.7 million in savings.

The Commissioner for Main Roads needs to make $7.3 million in savings while the Department of Finance will have to find savings of $4.9 million.

There is also some money allocated in the budget for new IT projects.

Read more: WA government looks for ICT savings with first CIO

The Department of Commerce has been allocated $1.2 million to complete the replacement of a compliance management system (CMS) for the energy safety division.

The system will replace the current electricity and gas inspection data systems, which no longer have technical support, and will deliver greater efficiency through the use of mobile technologies.

A technology upgrade program for the Building Commission division commences with $1.3 million in 2015-16 for works to address regulatory reform in the industry, and enable efficiency improvements in collaboration with local governments and other government agencies.

WA Health

A WA Health ICT Strategy for 2015-2018 which sets out the key ICT priorities for the next three years has been developed. It focuses on brining current systems up to date and building the foundations for the future.

$2.4 million will be invested in a state wide project that allows the detection and tracking of infection trends in real time, helping to provide timely implementation of appropriate infection prevention strategies for at-risk patient groups.

There has also been allocation in the budget for the delivery of ICT systems at new hospital facilities including the FSH and the Busselton Health Campus.

Insurance Commission

The Insurance Commission of WA’s IT investment program totals $20.2 million.

This includes ICT hardware to replace network and server infrastructure, desktop workstations, IT security, enhanced disaster recovery capability and workflow facilities.

This also includes ICT software incorporating systems developed for use by the Commission’s customers, application development software, performance monitoring applications, core insurance systems enhancements, desktop applications and systems upgrades.

WA Police

Funding of $9.3 million in 2015-16 has been allocated for the replacement of a computer aided dispatch (CAD) system.

“This is a critical policing system used throughout Western Australia as the primary means of accepting ‘000’ call and coordinating, recording and dispatching frontline police resources to respond to criminal and emergency incidents,” state budget documents.


In January 2016, the Department of Water will move into the final year of its information technology and systems renewal program to improve data collection and provision of water allocation and licensing. When fully operational, the $13.6 million Water Online project will deliver a new customer portal that will allow customers to manage their personal details, apply for water licences, provide meter readings and allow delegates to act on their behalf. Water Online will enable the faster processing of licence applications and reduce red tape.

Follow Hamish Barwick on Twitter: @HamishBarwick

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Tags IT budgetIT budget cutsWestern Australia

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