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Justice cluster to lead R15bn govt spending

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The South Africa government’s total national and provincial ICT spend is projected to grow from R13,6-billion in 2014/2015 to R15-billion in 2017/2018, according to BMI-T’s recent 2015 ICT in Government report.

The BMI-T ICT in Government report covers the 2014/2015 ICT expenditure, with forecasts to 2017/2018, for every South African national department and provincial government vote.

Computer services make up about 80% of the spend and communications contributes only the remaining 20%. Both national and provincial government ICT spend are projected to grow at a CAGR of about 3,5.

In particular, the publication focuses on the government departments that have big ICT budgets and includes spending trends and big deals which are significantly impacting the socio-economic and political environment in the country. It examines the big ICT spenders, namely the Justice Cluster, Home Affairs, and Treasury, as well as the influence of the SA Connect Broadband Policy on eGovernment, and eServices in Health and Education.

Spend at national department level is very lumpy, with six out of 40 national departments forecast to make up 80% of ICT spend, driven largely by the Justice Cluster. The next six national departments are forecast to comprise 11% of national ICT spend, with the remaining 23 departments’ ICT spend together totally the remaining 9%.

The Integrated Justice System (IJS) is one of the major initiatives driving national ICT spend. It encompasses the modernisation project of the Justice Cluster, that is, the Departments of Justice and Constitutional Development, Correctional Services, and Police. There are approximately 70 technology projects running in relation to the IJS. The IJS system is expected to be fully functional at the end of 2018/19 with 28 key performance indicators (KPIs) in place. 14 KPIs were completed in the 2014/15 financial year.

SAPS will prioritise strengthening the criminal justice system, budgeting R9,1-billion on IT investment over three years, including: a systems integration project, which includes a performance monitoring component; upgrade and expansion of IT networks at all police sites, including police stations; and a target of 95% of IT sites upgraded by 2017/18.

The eventual intention is to link the Justice Cluster systems with the person identification systems of Home Affairs, such as the Home Affairs National Identification System (HANIS), the National Population Register (NPR), National Immigration Identification System (NIIS), and it is also intended that the IJS will eventually link with the databases of the departments of Social Development and Health. It has been agreed for Home Affairs and the JCPS Cluster to have an integrated multi modal biometric system for the country.

The Department of Home Affairs ICT spend is expected to grow at a CAGR of 5,6%, with the continuation of the creation of a modernised, integrated information system, improving its client interfaces and increasing immigration enforcement capacity.

Ongoing problems however, beset this initiative. A tender to seek a “service provider to provide resources to implement an integrated justice system for a period of three years” was issued in the last week of May 2015, by the National Department of Home Affairs (tender no DHA09-2015). On 12 June 2015 the tender was cancelled.