Financial review of government ICT

Financial reviews of central government ICT analyses government ICT spending, ICT systems and ICT projects.

Objective

In 2017 and 2018, respectively, the government conducted financial reviews aiming to identify any spending-policy or management challenges in the ICT area

The reviews took their outset in three sub-areas:

  • Total spending on central-government ICT.
  • Government ICT projects with a budget of more than DKK 5 million.
  • Critical government ICT systems.

The reviews provide an overall picture of the government ICT area, the composition of the ICT project portfolio, as well as the ICT systems that are critical for society or government activities, and which are in an unsatisfactory state.

Conclusions of the most recent financial review

The published financial review from June 2018 includes responses from 19 ministries with a total of 105 subjacent authorities. The results of the financial review are based on data and assessments submitted by the authorities themselves, and therefore there is some uncertainty in the review.

In 2018, the financial review showed that:

  • The government spent about DKK 7 bn. a year on ICT, i.e. around the same level as the preceding year. The current registration of expenditure fails to provide adequate insight into what the funds are spent on, and it does not adequately support management and priority setting in the ICT area. 
  • A total of 183 ICT development projects in progress with a budget of more than DKK 5 million were reported. This was an increase in 10 projects compared with the previous review. Together, the 183 projects had a budget of slightly less than DKK 8 bn. spread over several years. This was an increase of almost DKK 2 bn. compared with the previous financial review. 
  • It was estimated that the government has a total of about 3,800 ICT systems, which is 500 fewer than in the last review. There is no definite reason for this difference, but it could be partly because the authorities gained better insights in their portfolios of ICT systems. Of these, the authorities estimated that about 377 ICT systems were critical for government or society as a whole. 117 of the critical ICT systems were assessed to be in an unsatisfactory state. Improvements have been initiated for the majority of these systems.

In 2020, the Division for Central Government ICT Management with the Agency for Digitisation conducted a similar analysis based on the authorities’ yearly financial statements from 2019.

The report showed an increase in ICT spending to about DKK 8.4 billion a year. However, this increase was both equally spread on development, maintenance, operation as well as salary and hardware expenses and in proportion with the growth in ordinary government operating cost. Over the past 5 years, ICT costs have each year accounted for about 11 percent of yearly government operating cost.

What are critical ICT systems?

ICT systems critical for business

Are systems in which operational problems could mean that the majority of the authority's employees cannot perform their duties or that the authority has difficulty in fulfilling its administrative obligations 

ICT systems critical for society

Are systems that are important for national security or for critical infrastructure, and in which misuse of data will have serious consequences, or where operational problems can have a major impact on the economy, or on many citizens and private businesses.