Frontline information and communications technology (ICT) includes the hardware, software and supporting network infrastructure used to help public sector agencies deliver services.

ICT can quickly become obsolete due to the high tempo of innovation and subsequent refresh rate of technology assets. Inadequate management of obsolescence of ICT assets could lead to poor or degraded service delivery.

The audit objective was to assess whether obsolescence of ICT equipment and software is managed effectively and efficiently in the public sector.

The audit concludes that obsolescence of frontline ICT assets is not being given adequate recognition: whole-of-government policies have not kept pace with the increasingly central role of ICT in service delivery; there are no ICT-specific policies or frameworks to guide the ongoing management of ICT obsolescence; and a more robust funding model is needed to better reflect the rapid ageing of ICT assets.

Two frontline ICT systems were subject to detailed case study examination in the audit.

The National Secondary School Computer Fund—funded by the Commonwealth Government, and overseen by the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development.

The audit found that due to insufficient oversight of obsolescence by the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development, secondary school student learning goals that depend upon the use of ICT assets, are at risk.

The Mobile Data Network, used by Victoria Police and managed by the Emergency Services Telecommunications Authority.

The audit found that ICT obsolescence has been effectively managed in the Mobile Data Network. However, the Department of Justice and the Department of Treasury and Finance must continue to monitor the strategic risk of adequate radio spectrum allocation for Victoria’s emergency services so that the Commonwealth Government is made aware of present and future operational requirements.

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