Centrelink, CSIRO join forces on Services IT

Summary:Federal welfare agency Centrelink and research organisation CSIRO will be working together on better IT to deliver services to the agency's clients.

Federal welfare agency Centrelink and research organisation CSIRO will be working together on better IT to deliver services to the agency's clients.

Technology projects will form the delivery part of a $25 million five-year research collaboration between the two organisations, which will look into how Centrelink can more efficiently service those who depend on it.

Technology is one of three streams for the research collaboration. "[This stream] will inform decisions for new standards, architectures, technologies and systems for citizen-centric services, and the interoperability of organisations for improved service delivery," the CSIRO site said.

Specific projects are still waiting to be approved by a steering committee, but Dr Peter Kennedy, leader of the service-orientated systems stream within CSIRO's mathematical and information sciences division told ZDNet.com.au that one project which is being put forward will involve using service-orientated architecture to break Centrelink's services down to their fundamental level.

The aim is to develop systems such that clients who require services from Centrelink can simply request what they need, without having to rifle their way through multiple services. "The new move is to make these services smarter," Kennedy said.

Another project facing approval plans is to look into how to provide users with the right information by categorising hyperlinks so users don't get lost on irrelevant pages.

The non IT streams of the project will use analytical techniques to look into which services work best for different groups of people and plan the best modes of intervention for people receiving support from Centrelink.

"Centrelink has more than 6 million customers on its records at any one time, providing an excellent source of bulk data and information for CSIRO's researchers, without providing individual customer's details," Human Services Minister Chris Bowen said in a statement on the agreement, which was signed yesterday.

"By combining research expertise in complex systems analytics, information technology, mathematics, statistics and socio-economic modelling, CSIRO can help improve the lives of all Australians," he said.

Topics: Innovation, Government : AU, Tech Industry


Suzanne Tindal cut her teeth at ZDNet.com.au as the site's telecommunications reporter, a role that saw her break some of the biggest stories associated with the National Broadband Network process. She then turned her attention to all matters in government and corporate ICT circles. Now she's taking on the whole gamut as news editor for t... Full Bio

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