With budget, NSW government leads Australia on ICT: ACS

$26 million for ICT delivery enhancements, including data centres and government licensing"

The New South Wales budget for the 2013-14 financial year shows a strong ICT focus compared to other states in Australia, according to the Australian Computer Society. The NSW government released the budget today.

“ACS is pleased that the NSW government has recognised the importance of ICT to the NSW economy,” said Adam Redman, ACS head of policy and external affairs.

“The ACS thinks the focus is encouraging and NSW is still the leading contributor to the national digital economy. Given ICT’s importance and ubiquity in our economy today, we call on all governments in Australia to recognise the need to have qualified certified people running ICT projects and managing ICT services.”

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Telsyte analyst Rodney Gedda said that while there are few specifically ICT projects, nearly every project in the budget will have an ICT component.

“However, it would be good see the government invest more in IT initiatives that will enable other services,” Gedda said.

The budget includes $191 million to provide and upgrade services to government agencies, including IT. ICT will also see a slice of $155 million in funding for providing shared transactional and corporate services to government.

In addition, the budget sets aside $26 million to “drive reform” in ICT delivery, related to areas including data centres and government licensing and provides $10 million for reforms to ICT, procurement, government telecommunication and construction.

Elsewhere in the budget, the government will provide $13 million for the Research Attraction and Acceleration Program, which includes National ICT Australia (NICTA) and the Science Leveraging Fund. The program provides funding for research programs and infrastructure.

The budget provides $1.6 million for the Innovate NSW program, which provides grants to promote collaboration between small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and industry, research partners, major corporations and end users.

$133 million is provided to continue implementing the Opal smartcard for electronic transportation ticketing. A trial for Sydney city circle trains began earlier this month.

For education, some $270 million is set aside for IT, while for law enforcement, the budget provides $5.3 million for improvements to the electronic exchange of data between police and the courts and $3.5 million for a project that will enable the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions to electronically file and update indictments with courts.

The budget also includes $5.2 million for the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) to purchase ICT equipment and software to complete its ICT infrastructure strategy and $2 million for the NSW Electoral Commission to upgrade ICT in advance of the next state election in March 2015.

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