Trending in the latest news, the 2020 federal budget is out and hundreds of millions of dollars are set to flow into IT. Government agencies will receive funding for a wide range of projects in this year’s budget that is largely dominated by the pandemic. 

Federal Budget 2020: All the Tech 

Services Australia is set to receive a half a billion-dollar investment for completing its massive Centrelink IT overhaul, that began more than five years ago. The additional funding brings the project’s budget to over $1.1 billion spread over nine years. Services Australia also got $116.3 million as part of the second phase of its Medicare payments system modernisation, and funding to sustain and rebuild myGov. The once-in-a-generation overhaul of the Australian Electoral Commission’s 30-year-old election IT systems will see funding of $97 million. The Department of Home Affairs will receive an undisclosed amount for data storage. The money will also be shared with the agency responsible for the country’s My Health Record. GovERP, the government’s new common shared enterprise resource planning (ERP) system will be the recipient of a further $35.6 million.

According to the budget documents, the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment will get $222 million for the first phase of the modernisation of their IT systems. This modernisation, which is part of the government’s JobMaker Plan will support the improved delivery of export regulatory services to agricultural exporters. This also includes ensuring the integrity of systems through mitigation of the export system outages and improving the cybersecurity of information.

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Funding for DMS: Apprenticeships and National Security Defence

The Department of Education, Skills and Employment will receive $91.6 million across four years for a new data management system for apprenticeships. This system is touted to better support government service deliveries through the Australian Apprenticeship Support Network and administration of apprenticeship programs. A little under $16 million will be put towards improving the government’s ability to identify, assess and address issues related to national security-related for critical technologies. This will encompass the creation of 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 part of a $39.2 million PM&C package will go towards procuring new information technology systems for the Office of the National Data Commissioner. This will help regulate public sector data sharing and release.

Funding for IT Systems: Foreign-owned Australian Assets and Veteran Affairs

Additionally, the government will provide $86.3 million over four years for a new IT platform. The platform will support its foreign investment reforms and consolidate the register of foreign ownership of Australian assets. It is expected to support efficient and effective foreign investment application compliance and processing activities. The Department of Veterans Affairs will be provided with a portion of a $64.1 million additional resourcing package by the government to commence scoping work on data analytics and sharing. The work will examine how the Department of Defence and Veterans Affairs can improve its reporting capabilities to provide better outcomes for service and former ADF personnel.

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