With the NSW Government having already announced its ICT blueprint, and procurement reforms, today’s budget was more about finding the money to fund already announced initiatives or programmes which are already underway rather than about unveiling grand new plans.
Besides the $124million funding package for Opal, NSW has set aside a total of $152 million to improve services in procurement, fleet management, finance, business and shared services across the government.
It has also committed $13 million for a Research Attraction and Acceleration programme and to continue its support for NICTA.
The NSW Budget has also allocated $6.1 million for an upgrade of ambulance services across the state, including an IT upgrade; committed to continue the $16 million upgrade of the rural fire services’ mobile radio and paging network; and found $6.3 million for emergency alert services which would allow notifications to be sent via mobiles and landlines.
With a number of big ticket ICT programmes concluded in the health sector in 2011-12 including patient and clinical systems and the first stage of the State’s critical ICT infrastructure strategy completed, health received relatively slim technology pickings with just $2.3 million allocated for the NORMS (NSW Organisational Risk Management System) notification system.
Meanwhile a total of $447 million has been set aside for school infrastructure spending, but ICT seems to have been a relatively low priority this year.
Police meanwhile has scored $39 million for ongoing technology upgrades including the upgrade of the Police Force’s core operational policing system, the continued roll-out of digital CCTV in police stations, the second phase of a hardware refresh, and an SAP technical upgrade.