Page 2960 - Week 08 - Thursday, 25 June 2009
Ms Le Couteur raises issues in relation to InTACT. I am very aware of her very deep interest and understanding of issues in relation to IT and some of the issues around open-source software that were raised, most particularly by Ms Le Couteur, through estimates. We note the issue. It is a significant issue. We have responded. But we will keep an open mind in relation to those particular issues.
Shared services are now located in TAMS, responsible for providing services across the board for ACT government agencies in relation to human resources, and indeed IT through InTACT is a very significant part of the ACT government. It is at the heart of efficiencies that we have driven. It is successful. It is a model of shared services and the success of shared services for other governments around Australia, and the government acknowledge the estimates committee report in relation to it. We have responded, and I again thank members for contributing to the debate.
MR COE (Ginninderra) (12.19): I am sorry to disappoint you, Mr Speaker, but I am rising to speak on this issue very briefly. I just thought I would put on the record my support for Shared Services investigating open-source options. I must admit I was surprised when the estimates committee heard that the total cost of ownership, including all costs beyond licence fees, is often equal to or more expensive than proprietary software. I have not done any research into this, so it is not really based on a great deal. However, the substantial savings that you make in the licence fees and not paying the licence fees I would have thought would have substantially offset future costs. So I think it would be worth doing a proper analysis of the full costs of open-source software versus proprietary software.
Some of the open-source software is really very well developed, with a very big community developing it. Whether it be Firefox, FileXilla, Audacity, OpenOffice, Linux, or whatever it might well be, I think all these products are very well respected in the IT world. So I would be very surprised if they do not actually have a place in the ACT system somewhere along the line.
On the broader issue of shared services, I think there would be many instances whereby centralising services would be able to offer significant savings, but it is very important that we keep analysing the costs, keep analysing the model, because when you centralise something not everybody knows it is actually occurring and there is a fair chance that you will get duplication down the line somewhere. So it is very important that Shared Services do convey to all facets of the departments the work that they are doing and the work that they can do to make sure that duplication is not happening down the line.
Proposed expenditure agreed to.
Proposed expenditure—Part 1.7—Department of Treasury, $42,496,000 (net cost of outputs), $33,094,000 (capital injection) and $33,472,000 (payments on behalf of the territory), totalling $109,062,000.
MR SMYTH (Brindabella) (12.21): Mr Speaker, in some ways a very important part of the discussion of the Appropriation Bill is the Treasury and what is contained,