All the tech in the 2020 federal budget

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All the tech in the 2020 federal budget

Hundreds of millions of dollars flows to IT.

Government agencies have scored funding for a range of projects in this year’s pandemic-dominated federal budget, with significant money flowing to all the usual suspects.

The centrepiece is a half a billion dollar investment for Services Australia to complete its massive Centrelink IT overhaul, which began more than five years ago.

The funding brings the project’s budget to more than $1.1 billion over nine years.

Services Australia also received $116.3 million for the second phase of its Medicare payments system modernisation, as well as funding to sustain and rebuild myGov.

Just under $97 million will be spent on the government’s once-in-a-generation overhaul of the Australian Electoral Commission’s 30-year-old election IT systems.

An undisclosed amount will also be spent on data storage at the Department of Home Affairs that will be shared with the agency responsible for the country’s My Health Record.

A further $35.6 million will go towards the government’s new common shared enterprise resource planning (ERP) system, called GovERP.

Budget documents also reveal $222 million for the first phase of IT system modernisation at the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment.

The modernisation, part of the government’s JobMaker Plan, will support “improved delivery of export regulatory services to agricultural exporters”.

This includes “ensuring the integrity of systems by mitigating export system outages and improving the cyber security of information”.

The Department of Education, Skills and Employment will receive $91.6 million over four years for a new apprenticeships data management system.

The system will “better support government service delivery through the operation of the Australian Apprenticeship Support Network and administration of apprenticeship programs”.

Just under $16 million will go towards improving the government’s ability to “identity, assess and address national security related issues for critical technologies”.

This will include creating a critical technologies policy coordination office in the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet (PM&C) and an expanded role for Defence in assessing trends. 

A portion of a $39.2 million PM&C package will also go towards new IT systems for the Office of the National Data Commissioner to regulate public sector data sharing and release.

The government will also provide $86.3 million over four years for a new IT platform to support its foreign investment reforms and to consolidated register of foreign ownership of Australian assets 

That platform is expected to “support more effective and efficient foreign investment application processing and compliance activities, while the 

Additionally, the government will also provide a portion of a $64.1 million Department of Veterans Affairs additional resourcing package to “commence scoping work” on data sharing and analytics.

The work will look at how Veterans Affairs and the Department of Defence can improve reporting capabilities to “provide better outcomes for service and former ADF personnel”.

Other new budget measures include:

  • $419.9 million over four years as part of the digital business plan for the previously annouced business register transformation
  • $295.9 million over four years for a new digital employment services platform
  • $256.6 million over two years for the continued development of the government's Govpass digital identity system, as previously annouced as part of the digital business plan
  • $25.4 million over four years for the Digital Transformation Agency and Services Australia to support digital transformation priorities and improve IT systems
  • $18.6 million in 2020-21 for the Department of Health to “progress IT systems to support quality assurance for MBS telehealth services”
  • $17.9 million over three years for the Therapeutic Goods Administration to modernise its business systems
  • $8 million in 2020-21 for the NSW government to deliver a Public Safety Mobile Broadband proof-of-concept trial
  • $7.7 million over four years for the Department of Health to establish a unique device identification system for implanted medical devices
  • $4.9 million over two years to deliver a range of “discrete uplift support measures” aimed at improving the cyber resilience of the electricity, gas and liquid fuel industries
  • $2.5 million in 2020-21 for a new case management system for the Family Court of WA
  • $1.6 million in 2020-21 for the Commonwealth Ombudsman to oversee the use of the Telecommunications and other Legislation Amendment (Assistance and Access) Act.
  • $1.8 million over two years for a new Grainbelt Wireless Solutions Program for wireless internet service providers in WA
  • $1.4 million over two years to establish the previously announced Australian Broadband Advisory Council 
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