IT outsourcing inquiry announced

The fate of the outsourcing tenders covering IT services for Centrelink, the Department of Family and Community Services, Employment and Education Departments, as well as the Treasury and the National Library is unclear, with the Federal Government announcing an independent review of its IT outsourcing policies.

Minister for Finance and Administration John Fahey has announced an independent inquiry into the Federal Government's controversial IT outsourcing policies.

Tuesday's ministerial announcement placed the ASX managing director Richard Humphry at the helm of the independent review committee, charged with assessing the Whole of Government IT Outsourcing Initiative.

Humphry previously held a position on an expert panel which advised the minister on IT issues in 1996.

Fahey's announcement comes after increased pressure placed on the government in the wake of the auditor general's report, which revealed a massive budget blow out.

The Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) report released in July claimed the government's outsourcing policies suffered from poor planning, and significant budgetary and resource issues.

The ANAO report revealed that the policy, which was initially promoted for potential savings to the Government, was already costing taxpayers at least $27 million more than original estimations.

The policy also come under fire for failing to allow Australian IT companies the opportunity to fully participate in the tender process.

Reports have it that the government finally announced the independent inquiry after the opposition threatened to use the parliamentary committee's system to review the outsourcing policies.

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