On 11 April 2008, the Minister for Finance and Deregulation, the Hon. Lindsay Tanner MP, announced my appointment to lead a review of the Australian Government use of ICT (information and communication technology). In response to the Terms of Reference, I employed an evidence-based approach to the review. There was a need to gain a comprehensive understanding of the status quoin order to determine the scope for, and identify areas of, improvement of efficiency and effectiveness.
At the heart of these findings is a conclusion that the current model of very high levels of agency autonomy, including the ability to self-approve opt-ins to whole-of-government approaches in the ICT domain, leads to sub-optimal outcomes in the context of prevailing external trends, financial returns, and the aims and objectives of the current Government. The impact of this autonomy has been heightened by a previous lack of strong focus on whole-of-government ICT issues at both Ministerial and top official levels. This conclusion applies no matter how well-intentioned individual agencies are in their pursuit of whole-of-government outcomes.