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:
By Justin Hendry on Dec 18, 2017 2:12PM
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.
Then we have:
By Allie Coyne on Dec 18, 2017 1:53PM
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.
Third we have:
By Allie Coyne on Dec 21, 2017 2:50PM
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.
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!
Posted by Dr David G More MB PhD at Tuesday, December 26, 2017