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Sir Peter Gershon reports on the Australian Government's use of ICT.

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The Hon Lindsay Tanner MP

Minister for Finance and Deregulation

Media Release

28/2008 29 August 2008

Sir Peter Gershon has delivered his final report on the independent review of the Australian Government's use of information and communication technology (ICT) to the Rudd Government.

Sir Peter provided Lindsay Tanner, Minister for Finance and Deregulation with a set of recommendations as to how the Australian Government may strengthen the whole-of-government management of ICT and maximise the benefits of its application to Government services.

Lindsay Tanner said: “Sir Peter has undertaken a critical body of work and has provided the Government with a number of key recommendations on how we can improve the effectiveness and efficiency of our application of ICT to service delivery.”

“Sir Peter has conducted an extensive series of consultations with a range of stakeholders from within government, the ICT industry and related representative organisations.

“He has applied his extensive experience obtained in major strategic reviews in the UK with an evidence-based approach, and has developed a range of robust and achievable recommendations for the Australian Government.”

The report is a very comprehensive and detailed analysis of a wide range of issues affecting the Government’s use and management of ICT and also outlines a staged plan for the implementation of recommendations.

Sir Peter Gershon said: “My recommendations involve a major program of both administrative reform and cultural change within the Australian Public Service.”

“With sustained leadership and drive at Ministerial and top official levels, and by providing the enablers of change with the necessary resources, not only in funding terms, but also skills of the right calibre, the Australian Government through implementing these recommendations can drive significant improvements in its use of ICT.

“I am confident that the recommended actions and proposed changes can be successfully implemented over the next two to three years, and will deliver substantial benefits to the Australian Government.”

The Government will now consider the recommendations and implementation plan Sir Peter has provided.

Lindsay Tanner said: “The model proposed by Sir Peter details a number of critical areas where we can maximise the returns from our ICT investment and improve our institutional arrangements to realise greater benefits.”

Sir Peter Gershon reports on the Australian Government’s Use of ICT

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Photo courtesy of Brian Hartigan

Background information on Sir Peter Gershon CBE FREng

Sir Peter’s career has spanned both the private and public sectors since he graduated in Mathematics at Cambridge University in 1969. After starting in the computer industry (1969-1986) he worked in the telecommunications industry (1987-1994). Following that Sir Peter held positions as the Managing Director, Marconi Electronic Systems and became the main board director in GEC plc with responsibility for its £3.5 billion international aerospace and defence business.

Following the sale of GEC’s defence business to BAE SYSTEMS in late 1999 he joined the Civil Service in April 2000 as the first Chief Executive of the Office of Government Commerce (OGC) which had been created following a review Sir Peter had undertaken for the Government in 1999. OGC’s remit is to lead a major programme to reform the way UK Central Civil Government handles over £13 billion p.a. of public procurement. £1.6 billion of value for money gains were achieved by March 2003 against an initial target of £1 billion.

In August 2003, the Prime Minister and Chancellor of the Exchequer invited Sir Peter to lead a major review of efficiency across the whole UK Public Sector (excluding Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales) to identify significant resources which could be reallocated in the 2004 Spending Review to front line services over the period 05/06 - 07/08. By July 2004 the review had secured agreement to, and developed initial plans for the delivery of, a programme leading to over £20 billion of savings in 07/08 (the actual savings to end December 07 have exceeded £23 billion).

After more than four years of public service Sir Peter returned to the private sector in autumn 2004 and is now Chairman of the General Healthcare Group, Premier Farnell plc, Symbian Ltd. and Vertex Data Science Limited. His other current appointments include non-executive directorship of HM Treasury (until 31 March 2008), membership of the council of Imperial College and membership of the UK Defence Academy’s advisory board. In 2005/6 he headed an independent review of Ministerial and Royal Air Travel at the request of the Prime Minister and The Palace.

He was awarded the Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 2000 for services to industry and knighted in 2004 for his work on public procurement.

Sir Peter is a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, the Institution of Electrical Engineers, the British Computer Society, the Chartered Institute of Purchasing & Supply and the Royal Aeronautical Society; a Companion of the Chartered Management Institute. He has an Honorary Doctorate in Technology from Kingston University and is an Honorary Fellow of Cardiff University.

Nardia Dazkiw -0418 144 690

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Aged 61, Sir Peter is married with three grown up children, and enjoys skiing, swimming, reading, travel and the theatre.

Sir Peter has asked that the Australian Government make a donation to a charity in lieu of any remuneration.

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