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WA finds money for ICT despite budget woes

by Justin Hendry •
Free resource

Topics: Software; IT Services; Hardware; ICT Strategy; WA.

Health ICT has topped Western Australia’s list of priorities for a third consecutive year, receiving close to $60 million in the 2016-17 state budget.

The funding represents the lion’s share of this year’s ICT funding, with the government electing to address burgeoning debt – projected to reach $33.8 billion in 2017 – largely caused by the commodities downturn.

This is despite the forthcoming release of the much-anticipated inaugural ICT Strategy from the Office of the Government Chief information Officer.

Funding for the GovNext-ICT program, which recently shortlisted six potential suppliers for the supply of compute, storage, cloud computing and a unified government communications network for the next ten years, has been sourced from the ICT Renewal and Reform Fund, announced in the 2014-15 Mid-year Review.

Complete analysis of the budget papers is currently being undertaken by Intermedium and will be available as a detailed online list of 2016-17 funded ICT initiatives, along with estimates of ICT Operational Expenditure by agency in Budget IT online database, at a later date. However, the readily identifiable ICT-related initiatives are set out below.

The Department of Health has been allocated $52.6 million beyond the forward estimates, including $16.8 million in 2016-17, for its replacement medical imaging system. The new centralised Picture Archive Communication System – Radiology Information System will give practitioners greater access to imagining records.

The budget will also provide $4 million to a minor ICT works program in 2016-17 and 2017-18, $1.4 million in 2016-17 to upgrade the iPharmacy system, and $992,000 over three years to replace the Monitoring of Drugs and Dependence System.

The Department of Transport will receive $20.9 million over four years for maintenance of its ICT infrastructure, “including asset upgrade and replacement of data storage, networks, services, communications hardware and corporate information system.” The program will also see “the relocation of legacy data centres to commercial hosted, secured sites.”

A further $13.8 million has been allocated to implement new technology for the modernisation of driver and vehicle services information systems over four years. The funding will also cover enhancements to licencing centre facilities.

The Housing Authority will receive $21.7 million over four years for its computer hardware and software program, including $8.9 million in 2916-17. The Treasury Corporation, Department of Premier and Cabinet and Office of the Auditor General will also receive $8.5 million, $4.2 million and $4.1 million respectively for hardware and software over the next four years.

The Insurance Commission of Western Australia will receive $12.2 million for software, including application development and performance monitoring software and core system enhancements. A further $4.4 million during this period will be provided for the replacement of “network and server infrastructure, desktop workstations, ICT security, enhanced disaster recovery capability, and imaging and workflow facilities.”

The School Curriculum and Standards Authority will receive $2.5 million over three years for the development of a Student Records Management System, which will replace the Student Information Records System. The new system will be used to record enrolments for K-12 students.

Other 2016-17 ICT initiatives include:

  • $1.9 million for Computer Hardware and Software at the Department of Mines and Petroleum;
  • $1.8 million over four years for the ongoing upgrade of core business systems and infrastructure at WorkCover WA Authority.
  • $1.6 million over four years for the Corruption and Crime Commission’s IT Systems; and
  • An additional $1.4 million investment during 2016-17 and 2017-18 for stage two works on the EnergySafety division’s Compliance Management System at the Department of Commerce.

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