ACT govt invests $40m in digital services, cyber security and analytics

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ACT govt invests $40m in digital services, cyber security and analytics

Continues existing programs as part of Covid-19 recovery.

The ACT government has earmarked more than $40 million for digital service delivery, cyber security and data analytics over the next four years as part of the territory’s Covid-19 recovery plan.

Budget papers handed down on Wednesday reveal $14.8 million, including $12 million in capital funding, to continue to increase the number of government services available through online channels.

A portion of the funding will be used to deliver services that allow Canberrans to prove their eligibility for concessions and notify government of changes in their personal circumstances through the ACT Digital Account.

The initiative will also allow the modernisation of the rego.act system to begin, and “further support the delivery of essential services” via the one-stop shop for government services, Access Canberra.

The government said the new funding builds on $10 million set aside for online services in the 2019-20 budget – an initiative that was later extended to continue in the 2020-21 financial year.

The budget also allocates $10.3 million to strengthen cyber security, which the government said will be used to establish a cyber security centre in the Chief Minister, Treasury and Economic Development Directorate.

The centre, which is aimed at improving cyber resilience and better protecting networks, will likely extend the existing centralised cyber security operations capability within the Digital, Data and Technology Solutions branch of the directorate.

“This will ensure operational continuity of the ACT Public Service and secure delivery of essential services to Canberrans,” the government said in the budget papers.

A further $17.3 million in continued funding will flow to the ACT Data Analytics Centre to maintain the whole-of-government ACT Data Lake and the Data and Analytics Hub over the next four years.

The funding will also be used for “necessary digital licence agreements and consumption charges” to support the government’s commitment to improve how it uses, manages and governs data.

Outside of the Chief Minister's Directorate, the Justice and Community Safety Directorate will receive $6.6 million over four years to replace ACT Policing’s radio core communication system and provide ongoing support to the new system.

It follows the deployment of new smartphones to all officers to “improve the secure capture, transmission and sharing of data” as part of an initiative funded in the territory's 2018-19 budget.

The Community Services Directorate will receive $6.5 million over four years to further develop the child and youth record information system (CYRIS).

Other new initiatives funded in the budget include:

  • $1.7 million to upgrade the Emergency Services Agency’s critical IT systems to increase capacity at the emergency 000 communications centre and incident room.
  • $1.2 million to extend the analytics program looking at landholder compliance in the ACT Revenue Office and develop options to replace the ACT valuation office IT system.
  • An undisclosed amount of funding for the Chief Minister’s Directorate to explore options to replace the government’s existing corporate financial management software.
  • An undisclosed amount of funding for Calvary Public Hospital to upgrade IT systems in preparation for the ACT’s digital health record.
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