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Tasmania plans $135M IT infrastructure overhaul

Tasmania plans $135M IT infrastructure overhaul

$4.9 million set aside for cyber security program

Credit: Photo 19097320 © Alyssand | Dreamstime.com

Tasmania is to pump $135.4 million into a government-wide IT infrastructure upgrade in order to ditch its "20th century technology".

As part of the state's 2020-21 budget, the government will spend $26.5 million this year alone on upgrading its legacy systems, which will take an estimated four years in total. 

“When it comes to our ICT infrastructure — for too long have we have been expecting 21st century services from 20th century technology,” said State Treasurer Peter Gutwein. 

Alongside this Tasmania plans to spend $57 million on its Digital Transformation Expenditure Program until 2024.

This includes $1.5 million in funding towards the state’s digital health transformation project, split between $500,000 in 2020-21 and $1 million in 2021-22. 

On top of that, $4.9 million has been set aside for a whole-of-government cyber security program over the next four years, something identified as a key opportunity for security partners.

“The whole-of-government cyber security program will create opportunities for local businesses to provide cyber security services and grow even more local jobs in this crucial sector for our economy,” Minister for Science and Technology Michael Ferguson.

“The expanded program aims to reduce the impact of malicious actors and aid rapid remediation by detecting vulnerabilities in Tasmanian Government services at the earliest opportunity, further integrating our incident response capacity with national arrangements." 

“It will also supplement and assist government departments to train staff to better recognise threats that may occur in their day-to-day work, as well as upskill cyber security professionals across government.” 

Over the next four years, the project's 2020-21 spend is expected to be the smallest at just $379,000. Following on from this, $1.7 million is scheduled for 2021-22, then $1.6 million in 2022-23 and then $1.3 million in 2023-24. 

As part of the digital transformation program, funding will be pulled into a strategy and business case for the state’s Health ICT Plan 2020 to 2030. With this plan, the state aims to digitally transform hospitals, improve patient information outcomes and better manage the Department of Health's workforce. 

The third stage of the state’s Justice Connect program, which was established to address the ageing systems at the state’s Department of Justice, is also taking a slice out of the Digital Transformation Expenditure Program at a price of $6 million, split into equal parts between 2021-22 and 2022-23. 

This will see current case management systems will be replaced with a single integrated system, which is expected to support the case management needs of a combined Single Tribunal. 

Past the Digital Transformation Expenditure Program, the Department of Police, Fire and Emergency Management’s Project Unify saw $46.1 million, which is set to be distributed over the next four years, for the upgrade of ageing policing operations ICT systems. 

The Department of Health’s human resources information system (HRIS) is set for an overhaul in what the budget documents describe as an “urgent upgrade", with $21.6 million set aside for the project over the next three years. 

“The new system will enable the Department to move away from paper-based systems, improving the delivery of critical human resource management systems," the budget noted. 

Of the spend, $2.1 million is due to be spent in 2020-21, followed by $11 million in 2021-22 and $8.5 million in 2022-23. 

In a longer-term play, $3.2 million has been scheduled over the next four years to the state’s student systems renewal, which includes a case management platform, for the Department of Education. 

“The wellbeing of all Tasmanian children and young people is a Government priority. Within this priority, there is a strong emphasis on supporting learners facing vulnerability, including those impacted by trauma,” the documents stated. 

“The government’s commitment to supporting learners facing vulnerability is underpinned by the awareness that some students require additional support to engage in learning.”  

Roughly a third of the budget allocation for the systems renewal, at $1.1 million, is set for 2020-21. Following from this, 2021-22 is expected to see $900,000, then $700,000 in 2022-23 and $500,000 in 2023-24. 

During the four years, the core infrastructure and initial phases of the case management platform is planned to be implemented in order to “deliver a cross-agency view of learners facing vulnerability”, according to budget documents.  

“This functionality will support improved collaboration across Government and enhance alignment and targeting of cross-agency service delivery supports to meet individual student need,” the documents said. 


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