Acting minister insists govt IT outsourcing saves $365m

Contracts let to date under the federal government's IT outsourcing program have saved taxpayers around $365 million over five years, the Acting Minister for Finance Senator Rod Kemp told parliament yesterday.

He said it is an irrefutable fact the program has delivered significant savings although it is widely accepted that inertia and resistance to change by government agencies "contributed significantly to delays", despite federal spending of more than $25 million on consultants to implement IT outsourcing.

The government released a progress report yesterday on contracts already let.

CSC, Advantra and EDS, which have secured contracts under the program, are required to report to the government on industry development outcomes and this is the first report to be released covering the 1999/2000 year.

Across the three contracts, IT Minister Senator Alston said in the report, payments to small- to medium-size enterprises were 67 per cent above target and total regional employment exceeded commitments by 29 per cent.

"As a result of the recent changes to the IT outsourcing initiative stemming from the Humphry Review, my portfolio is currently consulting with the IT industry and a cross section of Commonwealth departments and agencies on the industry development framework to apply to future contracts," Senator Alston said.

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