Review of information and communication technology for the parliament

30 Aug 2012

The Review examines the management and delivery of information and communication technology related services and equipment to the Parliament, each House, Committees of the Parliament, Members, Senators, their staff and the parliamentary departments.
In 2002, the Presiding Officers commissioned the then Parliamentary Services Commissioner, Andrew Podger, to review the administration of the Parliament. In his final report, Review by the Parliamentary Services Commissioner of Aspects of the Administration of the Parliament (the Podger Report), he commented that “There would seem to be little benefit in fundamental changes to the arrangements for provision of ICT services”.
This was against the background of five parliamentary departments and arrangements under which the Department of the Parliamentary Reporting Staff (DPRS) acted as a shared service provider. However, the Report did note that “some changes could be warranted”. In particular, the Podger Report recommended that the Senior Management Coordination Group (SMCG) “assume greater responsibility for coordinating strategic ICT issues, supported by DPRS in consultation with departmental ICT directors”.
In the event, this recommendation was not adopted. In June 2006 the Australian National Audit Office
1 considered that there “there may be merit” in the recommendation and again, in 2008, the Parliamentary Services Commissioner recommended the “the terms of reference for SMCG be amended to include oversight of Strategic ICT for the whole of Parliament”. 2 These recommendations were not adopted at the time, but in February 2012, the heads of the parliamentary departments agreed to a revised terms of reference for the SMCG that included, inter alia, “Provide Strategic Guidance on the information and communications technology (ICT) requirements of the Parliament, including the parliamentary departments.”

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