In 1996 the Howard Government came to power in Australia. At that point in time the commonwealth budget was in significant deficit,the economy was weak and there was significant commonwealth debt. To address these issues the Howard Government moved to implement several cost savings and income generating projects began under the outgoing ALP government. In addition,part of the Howard reforms was the move toward the private side in the public / private mix in the delivery of government services. One of the high profile and significant projects was the outsourcing of the commonwealth public sector Information and Communications Technology (ICT) delivery. It was called the IT Initiative and was managed by the Minister for Finance,the Honourable Mr Fahey. Mr Fahey had earlier attempted significant outsourcing projects whilst in NSW government; at one time Mr Fahey was NSW Premier. The intent of the IT Initiative as policy was to achieve better and more cost effective ICT services for the commonwealth. This research reviews the efficacy of the IT Initiative. Under the Westminster system,governments can implement government policy as approved by the parliament. However not all policy is reviewed by the parliament. In this case the IT Initiative was part of the Howard pre-election policy and therefore was considered 'mandated' by the electorate. Irrespective of this approval,was the IT Initiative supported by the research at the time and did the IT Initiative and its implementation make sound business sense when compared to the research and models and in particular effectiveness,efficiency and economy. This thesis will review the IT Initiative using both static and dynamic models using Transaction Based Economics (TCE). Both models will support the view that the IT Initiative as practiced was a relatively high risk strategy. The thesis will utilise TCE and risk management to develop a risk profiling model for ICT with effectiveness,efficiency,economy as the three dimensions. Finally,the risk-profiling model,while based on earlier modelling,provides a new insight into the issue of centralising versus decentralising of government operations especially as these approaches relate to novel technological applications across various departments.
|Date of Award||1 Jan 2007|