[LINK] IT matters of interest in the 2003/2004 Federal Budget

Tom Worthington tomw99 at fastmail.fm
Tue May 11 21:04:34 EST 2004


Each year since the Australian Federal Budget was first put on the web I 
have done a quick search though the documents to find matters of interest 
in information technology (see appended).

QUALITY OF THE WEB PAGE

Each year the budget web site gets better. This year the web site 
<http://www.budget.gov.au/2004-05/> has a bolder easier to read design, 
with the important documents up front and ministerial photos further down 
than last <http://www.budget.gov.au/2003-04/>.

I ran the budget page though Watchfire's WebXACT web checking service 
<http://webxact3.watchfire.com/> and it came out reasonably well. The page 
is small (only 23.56 kB in total) and so will download quickly. Curiously 
while the page has extensive metadata information required for federal 
government pages, it seems to lack the basic Author and Description fields 
expected by web search engines. The page passed automated priority 1 
accessibility tests and failed one level 2 and one level 3 test. This is a 
reasonable result.

IT IN THE BUDGET

Introduced last year, the budget web site has a useful search service. 
Entering "Information Technology" returned 37 results (up from 30 last year).

Some items of interest from the search, with quick comments:

Budget Paper No. 2 <http://www.budget.gov.au/2004-05/bp2/html/expense-15.htm>
>Prime Minister and Cabinet
>Australian Honours and Awards System — information technology development
>Expense ($m)  2004-05 2005-06 2006-07 2007-08
>Office of the Official Secretary to the Governor General 0.3 0.3 0.3 0.4
>Related capital ($m)
>Office of the Official Secretary to the Governor General 0.6 - - -
>
>
>The Government will provide $1.3 million over four years for the operation 
>and maintenance of a new information system, which will assist in the 
>processing of honours and awards to meet the community expectation for 
>timely processing of awards nominations.
>
>The capital funding of $0.6 million will be used to redevelop the 
>Australian Honours information technology system. The Office of the 
>Official Secretary to the Governor General will meet this cost from 
>internal cash reserves.

Transport and Regional Services 
<http://www.budget.gov.au/2004-05/bp2/html/expense-16.htm>
>The Department of Transport and Regional Services will be provided with an 
>additional $46.8 million over six years to administer the AusLink 
>programme. This includes an additional $1.2 million to be provided in 
>2003-04. This funding also includes capital expenditure of $8.5 million 
>for new information technology infrastructure.

>This funding also includes $5.1 million over four years for the Department 
>of Transport and Regional Services for information technology systems to 
>support administration of the Regional Partnerships Programme.

Foreign Affairs and Trade 
<http://www.budget.gov.au/2004-05/bp2/html/capital-05.htm>
>The Government will provide $2.1 million over four years for the delivery 
>of an information technology system to link consular and passport services 
>in Australian Trade Commission (Austrade) offices with information systems 
>managed by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
>
>This measure will be fully funded through the reallocation of existing 
>Austrade resources and involves funding of $1.5 million in 2004-05, $0.2 
>million in 2005-06, $0.2 million in 2006-07 and $0.2 million in 2007-08.

Transport and Regional Services 
<http://www.budget.gov.au/2004-05/bp2/html/capital-09.htm>
>Australian Transport Safety Bureau — replacement of the aviation 
>investigation information technology system
>Capital ($m)  2004-05 2005-06 2006-07 2007-08
>Department of Transport and Regional Services - 4.6 0.7 -
>Related expense ($m)
>Department of Transport and Regional Services 0.5 - 0.1 0.2
>
>The Government will provide $6.1 million over four years (including $0.8 
>million expense funding) for the replacement of the Australian Transport 
>Safety Bureau’s aviation investigation database.
>
>The new system will record and maintain information concerning accidents 
>and incidents involving civil aircraft, produce investigation reports 
>required by legislation, support trend monitoring of incidents and causes, 
>facilitate research to improve aviation safety and enhance the Australian 
>Transport Safety Bureau’s publicly available information.

Attorney-General’s <http://www.budget.gov.au/2004-05/bp2/html/expense-02.htm>
>Investing in Australia’s Security — information technology systems 
>disaster recovery
>Expense ($m)  2004-05 2005-06 2006-07 2007-08
>Department of Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs 10.2 
>6.8 6.7 6.8
>
>The Government will provide an additional $30.5 million over four years 
>for the establishment of disaster recovery facilities and capabilities for 
>the Department of Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs 
>mainframe and other key information technology infrastructure.
>
>These facilities will enable the timely recovery and continuity of the 
>Department’s business in the event of failure of its border and related 
>data systems.
>
>The Department will meet $6.7 million of these costs from internal cash 
>reserves.

>Investing in Australia’s Security — strengthening regional financial 
>intelligence units ...
>
>Funding of $3.4 million is being provided for AUSTRAC to assist FIUs to 
>develop the information technology capability to capture, store and 
>analyse financial information that may relate to terrorist financing.


>Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs 
><http://www.budget.gov.au/2004-05/bp2/html/expense-13.htm>
>Other measures in the Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs 
>portfolio
>Department of Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs — 
>information technology costs
>Expense ($m)  2004-05 2005-06 2006-07 2007-08
>Department of Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs 19.0 
>17.4 17.5 15.7
>
>The Government will provide an additional $69.6 million over four years to 
>fund the extension of the Department of Immigration and Multicultural and 
>Indigenous Affairs’ Information Technology (IT) service agreement with its 
>outsourced IT provider.
>
>The contract includes improvements in IT functionality related to the 
>scope and complexity of the Department’s business requirements.
>
>The Department will meet $8.1 million of these costs from internal cash 
>reserves.


Budget 2004-2005 
<http://www.budget.gov.au/2004-05/ministerial/html/transport-03.htm>
>Basic IT Enabling Skills for Older Workers Programme
>Basic IT Enabling Skills (BITES) provides 11,500 older workers per year 
>with the opportunity to undergo nationally recognised training in 
>information technology. It is designed to help low-income, mature age (45 
>and over) job seekers gain nationally recognised skills in information and 
>communication technology, in order for them to operate personal computers 
>effectively at a basic level in the workforce. BITES courses are 
>advertised locally and through Centrelink.

Health and Ageing <http://www.budget.gov.au/2004-05/bp2/html/expense-12.htm>

>Private health insurance — e-commerce partnerships
>Expense ($m)  2004-05 2005-06 2006-07 2007-08
>Department of Health and Ageing 1.9 9.1 11.1 10.9
>Related capital ($m)
>Department of Health and Ageing 9.0 2.8 2.1 1.5
>
>The Government will provide $48.2 million (including $15.3 million capital 
>funding) over four years to develop the Electronic Claim Lodgement and 
>Information Processing System Environment, an information technology 
>system that will provide secure electronic links between health funds, 
>hospitals and doctors, to streamline the billing process and supply cost 
>information to private health insurance patients.
>
>The new processes will improve the quality of data and reduce paperwork, 
>and are expected to lead to savings in administrative costs for health 
>funds. These savings should in turn be reflected in lower growth in 
>premiums and lower costs than otherwise of the 30 per cent private health 
>insurance rebate.

In addition, Education, Science and Training have a number of items of 
interest:
<http://www.budget.gov.au/2004-05/bp2/html/expense-06.htm>

>The Government has re-allocated $7.2 million over four years from the 
>National Competitive Grants Programme to support research grants in 
>counter-terrorism technology administered by the Department of Prime 
>Minister and Cabinet. ...
>
>The Government will provide $542 million over seven years for a new 
>National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy, as the successor 
>to the Major National Research Facilities Programme and the Systemic 
>Infrastructure Initiative. ...
>
>The Government will provide $2.8 million over two years to establish 
>Quality and Accessibility Frameworks for publicly funded research.
>
>The Frameworks will allow the research outcomes of publicly funded 
>research agencies and universities to be assessed more consistently and 
>rigorously and will enable information about research activities and 
>outcomes to be presented in a highly accessible way. ...
>
>The Government will provide funding of $21 million over three years to 
>continue support for the Building on IT Strengths Advanced Networks 
>Programme to further develop and operate three high speed advanced 
>communication networks. ...
>
>The Government will provide funding of $126.3 million over five years from 
>2006-07 for National Information and Communications Technology Australia 
>(NICTA), the information and communication technology centre of excellence. ...
>
>NICTA will also receive $124.7 million through the Australian Research 
>Council’s National Competitive Grants Programme in the years 2006-07 to 
>2010-11, bringing the total level of Government assistance over the five 
>years to 2010-11 to $251.1 million. ...
>
>The Government will reduce funding for the Innovation Access Programme by 
>$2 million in 2004-05 and $6 million in 2005-06.
>
>These funds will be redirected to contribute to the establishment of the 
>new Commercial Ready Programme, the expansion of the Commercialising 
>Emerging Technologies Programme, and the continuation of the National 
>Biotechnology Strategy. ...
>
>The Government will reduce funding for the Innovation Access Programme by 
>$2 million in 2004-05 and $6 million in 2005-06.
>
>These funds will be redirected to contribute to the establishment of the 
>new Commercial Ready Programme, the expansion of the Commercialising 
>Emerging Technologies Programme, and the continuation of the National 
>Biotechnology Strategy. ...
>
>The Government will provide funding of $1 billion over seven years for a 
>Commercial Ready Programme, which will bring together R&D Start, the 
>Biotechnology Innovation Fund and elements of the Innovation Access 
>Programme into a streamlined product for the business community. ...
>
>The Government will provide funding of $100 million over seven years to 
>continue and expand the Commercialising Emerging Technologies (COMET) 
>Programme. ...
>
>The Government will provide $65 million over six years from 2005-06 to the 
>Cooperative Research Centres (CRCs) Programme. This is in addition to the 
>existing provision for the programme of $1.08 billion over the same 
>period. CRCs bring together university and public sector researchers with 
>industry to collaborate on research and development projects of interest 
>to all participants. ...
>
>The Government will provide funding of $36 million over four years to 
>continue support for the Building on IT Strengths Incubator Programme. ...


ps: IT In Previous Budgets:

* 2003-04 <http://mailman.anu.edu.au/pipermail/link/2003-May/049956.html>
* 2002-03 <http://www.anu.edu.au/mail-archives/link/link0205/0318.html>
* 2000-01 <http://www.anu.edu.au/mail-archives/link/link0005/0358.html>
* 1999-00: <http://www.anu.edu.au/mail-archives/link/link9905/0265.html>
* 1997-98 <http://www.anu.edu.au/mail-archives/link/link9705/0315.html>
* 1996-97: <http://www.anu.edu.au/mail-archives/link/link9608/0093.html>



Tom Worthington FACS tom.worthington at tomw.net.au Ph: 0419 496150
Director, Tomw Communications Pty Ltd ABN: 17 088 714 309
http://www.tomw.net.au PO Box 13, Belconnen ACT 2617
Visiting Fellow, Computer Science, Australian National University
Publications Director, Australian Computer Society




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