Quote Of The Year

Timeless Quotes - Sadly The Late Paul Shetler - "Its not Your Health Record it's a Government Record Of Your Health Information"


H. L. Mencken - "For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong."

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

There Seems To Be A Bit Going On In Computing At The Department Of Human Services.

It’s an exciting time for news at the Department.
First we have:

Medicare payments system given $17m to keep the lights on

By Justin Hendry on Dec 18, 2017 2:12PM

MYEFO: Govt tries to breathe new life into 30-year-old system.

The federal government will spend $16.6 million this year on its 30-year-old Medicare payments system to keep the platform running while it continues to search for a replacement.
The Department of Health will use the funding for “remediation and essential maintenance of the health and aged care payments systems”, it said in its 2017-18 mid-year economic and fiscal outlook (MYEFO) released today.
It will also ensure that the IT platform continues to be owned and operated by the public sector.
The health and aged care payments system is made up of 200 separate applications and 90 different databases that have been built up over the last three decades.
It currently delivers 600 million payments worth $50 billion each year across Medicare, the pharmaceutical benefits scheme, veterans and aged care recipients.
But public servants have long been nervous about the susceptibility of the underlying IT infrastructure to a potential failure, previously describing the payments system as “creaking at the seams”.
According to Department of Human Services chief information officer Gary Sterrenberg, the payments system is expected to reach end of life in just over two years' time. The inflexibility of the current system is also said to limit policy options. 
More here:
Then we have:

Govt to shave $104m off Centrelink IT overhaul cost

By Allie Coyne on Dec 18, 2017 1:53PM

MYEFO: WPIT gets slightly slimmer.

The federal government is expecting to save $103.7 million off the cost of its $1.5 billion Centrelink payments system overhaul by using commercially available front-end software and accelerating certain projects.
It revealed the expected saving in its mid-year economic and fiscal outlook (MYEFO) published today.
The government said its decision to use "existing commercially available software to deliver an improved user experience", along with bringing forward the implementation of three unspecified projects, were behind the savings.
The Department of Human Services has been contacted for detail on the three projects and the specific user experience changes.
However DHS has previously revealed that it has turned to the open source Angular framework to revamp its web-based front-ends for quick wins as it works through the massive WPIT program.
It has focused early attention on "speedier claim-to-payment processes" ahead of the significant back-end transformation, and restructured to become a more agile software development shop.
One example has been tweaks to youth allowance claims that have meant faster rejection for incomplete submissions, cutting processing times and the backlog of claims by half.
More here:
Third we have:

Human Services CIO quits

By Allie Coyne on Dec 21, 2017 2:50PM

Exclusive: Sterrenberg ends six-year stint.

The Department of Human Services' high-profile chief information officer Gary Sterrenberg will depart the agency next month after more than six years in the role, iTnews can reveal. 
It leaves arguably the most technology-intensive leadership position - which involves looking after the IT operations of Centrelink and Medicare - across the federal government up for grabs.
Sterrenberg departs to work on a PhD, which he has been studying part time at the Australian National University, iTnews understands.
His PhD topic is listed as "measuring public value created through the introduction of a disruptive, digital platform-servicing model in the disability sector in Australia".
His official last day will be January 2, according to an internal memo sighted by iTnews.
More here:
And last I think after the Cabinet reshuffle we have a new minister (quoting the SMH):
“The other three promotions to cabinet are Victorian Liberal Dan Tehan, who becomes Social Services Minister, WA Liberal Michael Keenan joins him as Human Services Minister and assistant minister for Digital Transformation and the new Nationals deputy leader, Victorian Bridget McKenzie becomes Minister for Sport, Rural Health and Regional Communications.”
I bet this is not the last time we see this sort of change – all of which must increase the risk to all our purses!


Anonymous said...

"The federal government is expecting to save $103.7 million off the cost of its $1.5 billion Centrelink payments system overhaul by using commercially available front-end software and accelerating certain projects."
That is rather a contradiction in itself........Centrelink Payment Systems are so heavily customised & interwoven and there is no way that a COTS solution can overhaul anything without a massive spend to customise it!! Like most Government IT projects, if a COTS solution goes ahead, it will be the same old same old. More money down the drain and the CLK systems will probably get worse not better.
Maybe that's why the CIO left, I was never keen on the idea of someone from the banking community in the first place for the role, they're not too good with the purse strings. Only thing is - who might replace him?

Anonymous said...

It does seem rather bold to be claiming savings of $100+ million. I can only imagine it is a result of some request to demonstrate savings rather than a reality and we can be assured by year end the budget will be facing blow outs.

The CIO seems to have very valid reasons to be taking a break. Who will be next? Probably someone from the mining industry, that seems to be the latest pattern, complete with no Government experience.

Anonymous said...

I saved a lot of money by not buying a new car this year. I could have saved even more if my wife had also not bought a car. Just think how much I could have saved by not buying a house in Sydney.

Creative accounting is all the rage these days - almost as good as alternative facts.