Alston, Lundy resume their IT roles

While there have been few changes to the Federal Government's Cabinet line-up for IT and outsourcing, there are a number of new faces in the Opposition's shadow ministry.

In the Government, Senator Richard Alston retains the IT and Communications portfolio, which Computerworld foreshadowed two weeks ago, when the Minister said there was "still a lot of work to do", including the remaining sale of Telstra and a review of media broadcasting laws.

A spokesman for the Minister said the Government will also review the impact of its outsourcing program on the local IT industry and appoint an Australia Post Ombudsman to improve postal services.

The departure of former Finance Minister John Fahey led to the appointment of Nick Minchin as Minister for Finance and Administration, and he will now directly oversee the outsourcing program following the Prime Minister's announcement last week of the abolition of the Office of Asset Sales and Commercial Support (OASACS).

In the Opposition ranks, Senator Kate Lundy has been promoted to Shadow Minister for IT, a separate portfolio to the Shadow Ministry Of Innovation, Industry, Trade And Tourism, now headed up by Craig Emerson.

Lundy said industry development would be a core focus during the next term, as well keeping an eye on the Government's "mandating" of outsourcing, not just in IT.

As for the abolition of the OASACS, Lundy said this move showed the "futility of the outsourcing program".

The retention of Alston, Lundy said, had its "pluses and minuses".

"For the industry it has been difficult f to get its message through. Because Alston has headed up the department for so long some of the messages have sunk in, but it has taken a long time."

The former shadow Minister for Finance Lindsay Tanner has been appointed to the communications portfolio replacing Stephen Smith who has moved to health and ageing.

Tanner is a member of the House of Representatives but Labor has the support of the Democrats in the Senate to oppose any further sale of Telstra.

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