Budget 2013: Human Services, Centrelink to lead IT spending

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Budget 2013: Human Services, Centrelink to lead IT spending

Data centres, call centres and platform upgrades flagged.

The Department of Human Services has been a major recipient of IT spending in this year’s Federal Budget, with $102.2 million to be spent over five years on an upgrade of the child support IT system.

In a budget that was short on big-ticket items, a number of agencies have been granted funds to upgrade IT platforms, build new data centres, or improve support services.

In addition to the new child support IT system, expected to be delivered by December 2015, the Department of Human Services will also receive $30 million over two years to help it meet customer demand for call centre services and reduce waiting times.

"It's important we have the right IT infrastructure in place to ensure parents continue to receive their correct entitlements now and into the future," Human Services minister Jan McLucas said in a statement.

A review will also be undertaken to consider the future of Centrelink's main IT platform, with $16.2 million slated over two years for a business case on the future of the agency’s Income Security Integrated System.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade will receive $215.9 million over five years to upgrade Australia’s International Communications Network (ICN), and $8.4 million has been assigned over the next two years for a trial of automated border processing technology and procedures for departures from Australian airports.

The Government said the upgraded ICN is expected to strengthen classified information sharing, increase protection against cyber threats, strengthen coordination and decision-making through improved connectivity, and improve productivity by addressing limitations of the current system.

The Government has brought forward funding of $68 million for the Australian Bureau of Statistics into the next two years, to allow it to step up e-census collection for the 2016 Census. This includes $33.6 million in capital for systems development.

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission will receive $7.8 million over two years to improve its client contact centre service levels in support of the online National Business Names registration system, including $1.6 million in capital in 2013-14 to upgrade its call centre infrastructure.

The Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC) will receive $16.1 million over four years for the establishment of a new data centre.

And $4 million has been assigned in 2012-13 to support Vodafone Hutchison Australia to expand its call centre operations at Kingston, Tasmania.

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