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Thursday, 10 November 1983
Page: 2553

Mr SPEAKER —I wish to inform the House of two significant developments, relating to the information systems and services for the Parliament, which have occurred during 1983. The first of these developments concerns planning for the new Parliament House. It was essential that the Parliament House Construction Authority be advised of members' and senators' possible information systems requirements so that provision could be made in the new building for the development of such facilities. It was agreed to engage a specialist consultant to assist with the preparation of a brief and the tender was awarded to Logica Pty Ltd, a firm which has had considerable experience in both the information technology area and the requirements of the Parliament. Logica began its work on 9 May 1983 and presented its report on 21 June 1983. Parliamentary staff worked with the consultants, and questionnaires were issued to members and senators. In addition a number were interviewed personally. This report formed the basis of the statement of user requirements which has now been forwarded to the Parliament House Construction Authority. I now table the report by Logica Pty Ltd which includes an information systems review and a user requirements statement for the information systems and services for the new Parliament House. I must add that, at this stage, there is no commitment to all or any of the systems described in the report and that members will shortly be given the opportunity to comment on the report. Due to the size of the report, a limited number of copies have been printed and these are available to members from the Bills and Papers Office.

The second development relates to a pilot study now being undertaken by the parliamentary departments into the applicability of computer-based information storage and retrieval systems to the information needs of the Parliament. Following a lengthy planning period and a tender and selection process which has extended from November 1982, a contract was signed with International Computers (Australia) Pty Ltd on 17 October 1983 for the provision of a rented service for a pilot study. It is proposed that the pilot study continue until May 1984 and that House of Representatives and Senate Hansard, Votes and Proceedings, Journals of the Senate, House of Representatives Practice and Australian Senate Practice will be mounted on the service to enable effective evaluation of computer-based information storage and retrieval in the Parliament. After the pilot study has been evaluated by the parliamentary departments, Mr President and I will decide whether the project will proceed further.