A $1.9 million upgrade to RevenueSA’s ICT systems and a $500,000 new Wagering Tax Administration system are two of the key initiatives to receive funding in the 2017-18 South Australian budget, Treasurer Tom Koutsantonis’s fourth, with money thin on the ground for new ICT-related endeavours.
The limited new budget funding for ICT initiatives has flowed to priority areas, such as the RevenueSA tax revenue management system, which came under criticism from the South Australian Auditor-General for information security weaknesses and other issues late last year.
The budget’s sparse funding for new ICT measures will keep the pressure on South Australian agencies to ‘do more with less’ – a quality that has helped digitally mature agencies distinguish themselves from those falling behind, according to the recently released 2017 Digital Landscape Report.
The report, intended to assess the progress of agencies towards digital transformation goals set by the state’s Digital by Default declaration, found that progressive agencies prioritised digital initiatives and managed to draw on “funding from various sources”, such as private partnerships, to complete them. This contrasts with lagging agencies, which often blamed tight budgets for lack of progress against the declaration.
Other priority areas for the state include its child protection system, which was the subject of a damning report from Royal Commissioner Margaret Nyland last year. As a result, $2.1 million in funding was allocated to the Office for Data Analytics, which sits within the Department of Premier and Cabinet, to “lead whole of government efforts to innovate the use of government data and implement the Child Protection Information Sharing Project to improve the impact of support services to vulnerable children and their families”, according to the budget papers.
A $2.9 million boost in funding for Adelaide’s ‘Gig City’ program, to be divvied out over four years, will go towards expanding its high-speed internet network to additional precincts and co-working spaces in the city.
The government will also continue to fund key projects like the Enterprise Patient Administration System (EPAS), which is expected to be rolled out to the new Royal Adelaide Hospital and Flinders Medical Centre in 2017-18.
Other new ICT initiative funding includes $800,000 in 2017-18 for the SA Attorney General’s Department for digital recording capabilities, and $620,000 for the Metropolitan Fire Service to implement a call management system.