Budget funds govt agencies, departments and programs

Funding to help government agencies, departments and programs respond to COVID, increase data protection and improve public sector efficiency has been outlined in the federal budget which was handed down this week.

The national science agency CSIRO, which earlier this year faced job losses and budget cuts, will get a $459 million lifeline over four years to compensate for the impact of COVID-19 on its commercial activities and ensure it’s able to continue essential scientific research. The funding includes $5 million this year to upgrade its agriculture and grazing research facilities.

The Bureau of Meteorology will get $225 million over four years to ensure it can respond to weather emergencies and natural disasters, and $29 million to plug its aviation services following a downturn in airline activity as a result of COVID.

The Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) receives $238 million for core operations as well as nuclear medicine production, radioactive waste management and nuclear decommissioning activities. An undisclosed amount has also been provided for a scoping study on the organisation’s “governance and commercial arrangements”.

The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) has been allocated $1.4 billion over the next 12 years to continue research and and development investment for emerging low emissions technologies.

The government will provide $55.6 million to ‘reactivate’ the Christmas Island detention centre to accommodate people who are in Australia illegally and released prisoners who can’t be deported because of COVID border restrictions.

Improving eSafety and upgrading ICT

The Office of the eSafety Commissioner will have $39.4 million over three years to respond to increased demand for existing programs and to oversee a new adult cyber abuse takedown scheme.

The Australian Electoral Commission’s (AEC) ICT systems and infrastructure will be upgraded and modernised with $96.7 million over three years, and $22.5 million over two years will go towards maintaining the myGov system and the enhanced myGov Beta, enabling it to support over 18 million accounts and connect the public to the services of 13 government agencies.

The government will put $15.6 million over four years towards increasing security around critical technologies, including the creation a Critical Technologies Policy Coordination Office within the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet.

An undisclosed amount will be provided to secure date storage for Home Affairs, ASIC, the Australian Digital Health Agency and the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA).

$29m spent to improve government spending

Meanwhile, there’s $29.6 million over four years for the finance department to assess the quality of government spending, and $35.6 million to develop a model for a Whole-of-Government shared ERP (GovERP).

The Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC) will get a $104.9 million boost, which will also support the development of a new financial data reporting system to help industry meet reporting requirements under money laundering and counter-terrorism financing laws.

The government will also provide $4.5 million over four years for the finance department to establish a new Whole of Australian Government Management Advisory Services consultancy panel, designed to improve the quality and efficiency of services.

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3 thoughts on “Budget funds govt agencies, departments and programs

  1. Now that we are in the greatest financial and economic hole we have been since WW2 and Australia has reached a relatively high level of sophistication of digital capability over the 3 Levels of Government, is it not the right time right now to look at what interoperability arrangements can be looked at within the 3 levels Government for the sake of maximising the value of overall IT spend nation wide in Govt. I am not saying the above spend is not going to improve the services of Federal Govt, rather that all IT Spend to date has been focussed to improve internal operations over all of Govt and improve their interface with the public. The same could be said for maximising the value of spend of all public servants over the the 3 levels in interoperability arrangements. We need to think big and long term in all aspects of Government spend not just IT spend, if we are to dig ourselves out of the debt and deficit hole we are now in in order that future generations will not be paying forever the costs of it.

  2. I have to agree with Rogers comments above with one caveat. Too many times all three levels of government spend their funds in isolation. The silos are still with us and even though we have had open-source technology now for several years we still see the inability of government departments to see the “big picture” from a single source. A lot of it has to do with the starting point. For example, if you started with a fresh strategy plan with vision a set of goals are recommended, now you are in a position to expand each goal, task or project that could be transparent and aligned to each of your internal departments within your level of government. If you mention that scenario to the “powers that be” and it’s all too hard or they have vivid memories of poor attempted strategic planning that failed in a previous life. Guess what! The times have changed. There technologies and modern methods that are successfully transforming government departments. Want to know how?

    1. Hi Rob I completely agree with your comments also and I suspect that you and I are on the same wavelength as to how. What must be recognised in Govt that we have moved on from the horse and cart days and mid to late 20th century thinking. Even the Prime Minister said, I believe, that we are now in the first stages of the Fourth Industrial Revolution where everything is being turned upside down due to technology and fundamental changes are occurring in society. (Pushed more quickly by COVID than anyone thought ) For Govt, hierarchial structures and siloes have been blown out of the water on an operational level which should, and I say should with the emphasis on must, create movement of greater collaboration between all agencies and all levels of government with all pulling in the same direction. Efficient use of Technology is a very large part of this. The big thing needed also is focussed committment to the task and politics being politics ( including internal politics at all agency level) is very hard to overcome.There is something to be said for bringing strong discipline and rigour to operational matters and at the political level.

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