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8119.0 - Government Use of Information Technology, Australia, 1997-98  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 14/12/1999   
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MEDIA RELEASE

December 14, 1999
Embargoed 11:30am (AEST)
145/99

Half a million PC's in Australian government

Figures released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics show that across all government organisations in Australia there were just over half a million PCs (507,000) accessed by 543,000 authorised PC users at the end of June 1998. More than a third of these users were authorised to access the Internet (209,000). State departments and agencies accounted for almost half of the PCs (231,000), PC users (259,000) and Internet users (92,000).

At the end of June 1998 almost three-quarters (73%) of government organisations had Internet access. Federal government had the highest level, with 100% of Federal departments and agencies having Internet access. Of these, 22% restricted their employees' access to specific websites.

Of the government organisations without Internet at the end of June 1998, 57% intended to obtain it within the next 12 months. With these organisations representing 15% of all government organisations the expected rate of Internet access for all government organisations by June 1999 was 88%.

Federal departments and agencies offered the highest level of support for information technology and telecommunications (IT&T), with 4.6% of employees being IT&T support personnel, compared with only 1.5% in State/Territory departments and agencies and 1.4% in local government.

Expenditure on IT&T by government in Australia was $3,317 million, of which almost a quarter ($788 m) was spent on wages and salaries of in-house IT&T employees, and almost a quarter ($795 m) on contract payments to other organisations. Of these contracts, more than two-thirds ($553 m) were for outsourcing ongoing services. Most (89%) contract payments for IT&T services went to private sector service providers. Federal departments and agencies' IT&T expenses per PC user ($10,415) were almost double those of State/Territory departments and agencies ($5,290) and local government ($5,230).

Further details are in Government Use of Information Technology, Australia, 1997-98 (cat. no. 8119.0) available from ABS bookshops. A summary of the main features from the publication is also available on this site. The ABS encourages media organisations with online news services to link to the main features. Please phone us if you need assistance to do this.

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