Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 6 Hansard (3 September) . . Page.. 1865 ..
MR QUINLAN (11.01): Mr Speaker, this particular exercise within the budget does demonstrate where we need to get our act together a little bit more in clearer reporting. It states within the budget that InTACT will become part of CanDeliver, yet those statements have not been put together and we see a separate line in the budget for the InTACT Group. Alarm bells begin to ring a little when we read that the move has not been reflected in CanDeliver's or InTACT's financial statements as a final scoping and due diligence review has yet to be completed. I am a bit concerned as to what might be the ultimate objective of scoping and due diligence. I would have thought it was a relatively simple exercise to incorporate the two entities into one line, or one entity within the budget, to reflect what they are going to be in the future - if that is what they are going to be in the future - after the review.
Ms Carnell: Yes.
MR QUINLAN: Right. That is all I would say on InTACT other than, concerning the money that we have set aside to address the millennium bug problem, I do hope we have moved quickly enough to address that problem. I have asked a couple of people about it. I used to be a programmer once, but I have forgotten all about it.
Ms Carnell: We might need you.
MR QUINLAN: Yes, that might need to be. I understand that some of the problems are deeply embedded in some very old source code in some of the systems that are used within government. Very little has been done, even by the machine companies and the software companies, in digging down into the systems. I think most of them have decided that the ultimate solution will be that we can all buy new software from Microsoft, and we do not really need to address the problem at all. I hope and trust that we have moved soon enough and that we are not caught in that obsolescence vice of having to toss out a lot of the software because we do not have anybody that remembers how it was put together in the first place and what algorithms were used. I do trust that we have moved quickly enough and that, because it is so critical to what we are doing within the government service, we can maintain full government control of the operations of InTACT, despite the fact that it is planned to be inserted within CanDeliver.
MS CARNELL (Chief Minister and Treasurer) (11.05): Mr Speaker, I thank those opposite for their generally quite constructive comments in this area. I think the experiment of InTACT - I suppose it is a long way beyond the experimental stage now - has been a great success. What it has shown as a model is that there is a capacity to keep in-government and in-house expertise and at the same time partner with private sector companies to achieve the efficiencies, the better buying power and so on that probably are some of the benefits of outsourcing. I suppose it is a way to get some of the benefits of outsourcing without actually doing it, while still keeping the core processes or the core functions internal and ensuring that we keep information or IT expertise in the ACT Government. That is something that is really important.
One of the good things is that some other States are now seeing InTACT as a model that maybe should be looked at rather than some of the wholesale outsourcing approaches that have been used. The approach that we have taken, or that InTACT has taken, with regard to the Y2K issue and also modernisation is innovative and sensible. Some of the