Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2004 Week 7 Hansard (29 June) . . Page.. 2935..
MR SMYTH (Leader of the Opposition) (8.10): InTACT, of course, is the unit responsible for I&CT equipment infrastructure services for the whole of the ACT public service. I have only one comment to make. I am concerned that some of the units have had extraordinary rises in the charges apportioned to them by InTACT and, given that units are unable to go anywhere else, I suspect that it is unfortunate that it is done in this way. One example that I am aware of is that the Auditor-General's Office had its IT bill doubled in the course of the year. For some of the units, that comes at great cost.
Of course, the increase this year in the appropriation for the Auditor-General's Office will help cover that, but you would have to question why the government ends up charging itself double a rate. If that is to be the case, I guess the question really is: why can't the individual appropriation units actually go out and access their IT services from somewhere else? That said, the opposition will support the line.
MR QUINLAN (Treasurer, Minister for Economic Development, Business and Tourism, Minister for Sport, Racing and Gaming, and Acting Minister for Planning) (8.12): Mr Speaker, in response to that, I am not going to be an impassioned defender of InTACT and its monopoly. However, it would seem to be commonsense that we be very careful about disaggregating the systems that we have, thus providing a multiplicity of different solutions.
Certainly, agencies have their own capability as well as the one which they use from InTACT. Of course, as time goes by and technology advances agencies, probably unconsciously, are using the service provided more and more. You have only to look at the service that is available on your own desk to know that technology has come a long way in the last decade or so and continues apace.
It is a simple matter to say, if you are sitting in your office, that you could go out and buy yourself a desktop computer for a lot less than you pay InTACT but, of course, you would not have the back-up, you would not have the connections, you would not have the local area networks, et cetera.
Mr Smyth: It doesn't double in a year, though.
MR QUINLAN: It depends on what people are using and the demands that they have made. Nobody has come to me and said that it is a major problem, but if their fee has doubled in a year and they have not changed their usage and were not being grossly undercharged for the usage before, I am happy to look at that.
Let me repeat, Mr Speaker, that these are things that probably best should have come out in the estimates process. The Estimates Committee report which we are debating concurrently is pretty damn thin and maybe there was room for a bit more work. We talked earlier today about the work committees do. It is not actually reflected particularly in the report of the Select Committee on Estimates that we have before us today.
Proposed expenditure agreed to.
Proposed expenditure-part 1.10-superannuation unit, $122,182,000 (capital injection) and $1,832,000 (payments on behalf of the territory), totalling $124,014,000.