ACT eyes cloud with government-wide Oracle deal

The 2019-20 territory Budget also includes building a digital health record, funding for modernising government IT, making more government services available online, and continuing the roll out of laptops to public secondary school students.
Written by Asha Barbaschow, Contributor

The Australian Capital Territory (ACT) will be implementing a whole-of-government licensing deal with Oracle, for an upfront investment of AU$3.7 million.

As detailed in the territory's 2019-20 Budget, the government is hoping to improve its overall digital capability and service delivery by centralising technology licensing governance and "developing a strategy for key digital functionality to be managed through cloud-based services".

Expecting the total spend over four years to be just over AU$7.1 million, the Oracle investment will be partially offset by licence fees currently paid by the government.

SEE ALSO: Oracle may face challenges migrating customers to cloud, says survey

The Budget documents detail AU$222 million over four years invested into the government's digital capabilities. The big ticket item is a new digital health record for the ACT.

AU$70.3 million in capital will go towards the program over four years.

It will see the territory procure and implement the digital health record for government-funded public health services and is expected to provide a single point of reference for patient clinical records. The territory has touted this as "supporting more consistent care and effective case management by replacing current electronic and paper-based systems".

As the strategy explains, the record will be a "single, comprehensive, contemporary, trusted, real-time person-centred clinical record" that can be accessed by all members of the treating team regardless of physical location.

The ACT said it will focus on interoperability and integration with the national My Health Record system and other national Digital Health services to support the sharing of information with patients and other providers.

SEE ALSO: More than 2.5 million Australians have opted out of My Health Record

The territory hopes to also align its ACT Health Core IT Systems with the Digital Health Strategy, which released last month sets out a handful of priorities and objectives to guide the development of future health services across the public healthcare system.

Still on health, the Drugs and Poisons Information System will also be updated to provide real-time prescription monitoring.

For a total cost just shy of AU$10 million, the government will be making more government services available digitally.

Access Canberra will also receive another AU$2 million as the government aims to "make accessing services more seamless for Canberrans and meet growing demand to do business with government online".

With AU$32.4 million allocated over four years, the government will roll out a new whole-of-government human resource information management system.

"This initiative is expected to generate future efficiencies through additional functionality and increased automation," the Budget papers say.

The ACT Land Titles system will be undergoing a modernisation project with a total of AU$3.7 million allocated to add functions to the new system to allow for historical document searches, a "Title Watch" notification service, and the delivery of e-Conveyancing.

The government will also spend AU$24.8 million over the next four years on transitioning directorates to the new Dickson and Civic Office Buildings, with the funds to go towards delivering fit-out and IT infrastructure that "support more efficient work practices such as digital record-keeping and activity-based work".

The ACT will be continuing the roll out of Chromebook laptops to public secondary school students, with AU$1.9 million to be spent this financial year.

With AU$1.5 million over three years, the government will establish a Future Skills for Future Jobs grants program to support industry projects that help increase Australian Apprenticeship commencements in the ACT. This initiative will see matched contributions from the Commonwealth through the National Partnership on the Skilling Australians Fund.

Still on education, the Canberra Institute of Technology will have its IT systems modernised, which will see AU$5.5 million used to replace physical infrastructure at the Bruce and Fyshwick campuses which has reached end of life, and the construction of a new IT platform and environment to better support digital learning.

Free public Wi-Fi services will continue to be rolled out in town centres and specific public places across the territory, with the government saying the cost of this initiative will be offset by funding provisioned for the Wi-Fi network in the 2018-19 Budget.

AU$600,000 over four years will also go to the territory's existing initiative to boost government digital security.

Meanwhile, in the Tasmanian Budget handed down late last month, the state allocated a total of AU$15.3 million in 2019-20 for spending on IT.

Major infrastructure projects include the Digital Transformation Priority Expenditure Program, which was given AU$10 million to add to its target of upping digital capability within government.

The state's Digital Transformation Project Unify initiative was also handed AU$2.3 million and the Fisheries Integrated Licensing Management System will continue with AU$1.7 million.

Project Unify is hoping to upgrade a number of "disparate, disconnected, and ageing" Police IT systems that support policing operations and external clients.

Digital transformation projects at the Departments of Health, Communities Tasmania, Justice, Police, Fire and Emergency Management, Premier and Cabinet, and Treasury and Finance are currently underway, with the government saying in its Budget documents that these projects will result in the provision of improved services to the community and deliver public sector efficiency and productivity benefits.


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