ICT Benchmarking

The Australian Government introduced ICT Benchmarking in 2009. It is a requirement that Non-Corporate Commonwealth entities subject to the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 participate in annual benchmarking of their ICT activities (some exemptions apply). The programme is conducted by the Department of Finance (Finance).

The ICT Benchmarking Framework, revised in October 2015, sets out the objectives: to measure the efficiency of ICT services; to inform policy development; and to support ICT investment decision-making at both entity and Whole-of-Government levels.  The Framework also defines the annual benchmarking process and agreed metrics. A taxonomy provides guidance to entities to ensure the consistent treatment and categorisation of ICT costs.

In accordance with the annual cycle, Finance releases the ICT benchmarking data collection template to entities in July each year.  Entities return the completed templates in October.  Following a data validation and analysis process, Finance provides benchmarking reports to entities in, or before the third quarter of the financial year. Also, a publicly released report summarising the high-level trends is produced annually (see below).  

The business case for ICT benchmarking

Collectively non-Corporate Commonwealth entities spend over $5 billion per annum on ICT. The cost of ICT benchmarking is about $500,000 or 0.01%, and reducing.

Finance aims to make benchmarking a more relevant and useful tool to understand and optimise ICT costs.

Benchmarking is one tool to drive a service-oriented, agile, cost-conscious culture. This is part of the vision for public sector transformation.

Benchmarking will support identifying opportunities for joined-up procurement, and shared and common services. It will also measure performance against private sector or international benchmarks.

Australian Government ICT Trends Report

This report presents data about ICT use and expenditure since 2008-09 by Government entities. The data has been sourced from entities through the annual ICT benchmarking data collection exercise.

The report provides aggregate figures on:

  • Total ICT expenditure;
  • ICT personnel; and
  • ICT infrastructure.

Finance is making this data available to inform the general community and industry about Australian Government ICT use and expenditure.

Revised ICT Benchmarking

Finance, in consultation with agencies, has revised the ICT Benchmarking programme. The revised Framework is being phased in over two years, to provide increased transparency, analysis, and value to all stakeholders.

Finance will collect a more valuable data set from 6 large and 18 medium entities, which represent 70 per cent and 20 per cent of total ICT business-as-usual expenditure respectively. This data will help them and Finance to identify duplicated, fragmented, beyond life, transportable or high cost applications, infrastructure and ICT services.

For the 65 small entities that represent 10 per cent of total ICT expenditure, only key indicators will be sought.

How to Get More Value from the ICT Benchmarking Data

The publication 'How to Get More Value from the ICT Benchmarking Data' encourages agencies to leverage the annual benchmarking analysis to improve their ICT performance. It presents a range of strategies on how to measure progress in improving the efficiency and effectiveness of ICT services in the delivery of Government programs:

ICT Benchmarking: Better Practice Roadmap

The 'ICT Benchmarking: Better Practice Roadmap' has been developed to help improve the quality of benchmarking data and streamline the preparation process for entities. The advice contained within the guide can be tailored to the requirements of each individual entity.

The guide contains a roadmap which can be used to identify the relative maturity of an entity's approach to ICT Benchmarking. This information can then be used to develop strategies to improve performance and move to the next level of maturity.

Finance is also able to provide contact details for entities that have attained each level of maturity and are willing to provide assistance to other entities.

Contact details for ICT Benchmarking

For enquiries on ICT Benchmarking, call (02) 6215 1744 or ICTBenchmarking@finance.gov.au.

Last updated: 07 March 2016