Page 2958 - Week 08 - Thursday, 25 June 2009

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I am interested in the outcomes of that process, particularly given the experience in WA. Their costs actually blew out when they were setting up their shared services structure. I do not believe they gained the savings that they thought they would for many years after they were meant to start. There is a specific incidence of this in Human Resource Services. A formal benchmarking process takes place in areas of recruitment and payroll. This process compares jurisdictions. Again, minister, it would be interesting to know what was the outcome of these comparisons. I think it is particularly pertinent given the issues that we had as a jurisdiction in bringing Chris21 on line in the first place.

If the minister had some answers for us or if he wanted to take those on notice and get more detailed answers for the Assembly in a later time frame that would be acceptable. I understand that the information might not be readily to hand, but again there is just that cloud over the shared services. As for referring somebody to the budget documents as justification that something has been achieved, lots of budget documents have not achieved what was contained in them. To say that you have informal processes or that formal reviews are done at various times and not provide any answers as to what the outcomes of those reviews were leaves a cloud hanging.

MS LE COUTEUR (Molonglo) (12.12): I would like to speak, first of all, about InTACT. This is an area where it seems we have managed to have a situation where the environment and the economy are coming together. The evidence given to the committee was that a couple of years ago InTACT stopped leasing desktops and are now purchasing them. As part of that arrangement they used to keep their fleet for three years. They are now keeping it for four years, which means not only that we are saving money but also that we are saving the considerable disposal costs of PCs, more so for the environment than the economy. This is a really good example of where the environment and the economy can go in the same direction if we choose to do so.

From InTACT’s point of view, though, we are less pleased to see their views with respect to open source software. While they did say they were using some of it in their service—and I am sure they are using a lot of it in their service—they are certainly not prepared to use it on desktops. I am one of the many users of InTACT desktops who are frustrated by this. I strongly support recommendation 74 of the estimates committee, which states:

The Committee recommends that the ACT Government renews its commitment to open-source software, and that it uses open-source software where appropriate.

On finance, that appears to be working well, but I will just make one comment about how the shared services model seems to be working. When one of my staff inquired about an electronic payslip, which in this day and age seemed a fairly reasonable thing to do, they were told that the Assembly is too small to purchase the software module itself. I will pursue this later with questions to the government, but I just cannot understand how there can be shared services if we have agencies having to buy their own software modules. Is that not the whole idea of shared services and why we brought them all together—so that small agencies such as the Assembly are in a

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