Parliament begins ICT review

Last year, John Goulter suggested it might be wise to appoint a Parliamentary CIO

Parliament’s ICT service is finally being reformed — a year after a tough report criticised the quality of the service.

The Parliamentary Service is looking for a management consultant to conduct a review of ICT services.

The move belately follows last year’s hard-hitting report on the quality of Parliament’s ICT services by John Goulter (Computerworld April 23, 2007). Goulter called for better coordination among the five government agencies responsible for the running of various parliamentary functions and suggested it might be wise to appoint a Parliamentary CIO to provide overall leadership.

Asked why the project had not got under way until more than a year after the Goulter report, Parliamentary Service spokesman Warren Inkster said, “Timing… was subject to prioritising Parliamentary Service work.”

“The consulting group will be undertaking an independent review and will be working with the five agencies across Parliament — Office of the Clerk, Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, Parliamentary Counsel Office, Executive Government Support, and the Parliamentary Service.”

Consultants will have access to “information appropriate to undertaking a full assessment of the ICT, IS [information services], IM [information management] and IT functions within the five agencies,” he added.

The review will look specifically at “where duplication exists in the delivery and support of ICT and information management services to each agency.” It will also “identify the current services and information shared between agencies, and opportunities for further sharing and standardisation of software and hardware against the expected development of public sector service-wide ICT policies,” the EOI document says.

There have been a number of earlier reviews of Parliament’s ICT services that could be drawn on to both scope and accelerate the project.

Prior to the Goulter report, an internal “joint information strategy” was drawn up in 2005, but it was hardly acted on and it’s not clear how much of this would still be relevant. The latest review is scheduled for completion “later this year,” said Inkster. Responses to the tender are due by July 18.

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