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3.5 Information and communications technology

The department’s ICT planning is guided by the Technology Plan 2016–20. The department continues to provide technology support to various other government departments.

Technology planning

The department’s Technology Plan sets out our vision for ICT: the provision of government services through a trusted digital services platform. The plan supports the vision and strategic themes of the Corporate Plan 2018–19, the focus areas of the Digital Transformation Strategy, the objectives of the Channel Strategy and the Digital Service Standard of the Digital Transformation Agency to make services simpler, clearer and faster. The plan builds on the department’s transformation to date and provides a structure to establish the department as a leading provider of government services.

A primary goal of the plan is to introduce an improved system of technology planning. The system of technology planning enables the department to identify, engage with, collaborate on, align with, and ensure the consistency and transparency of, funded initiatives that provide opportunities and solutions to achieve the Technology Plan objectives.

Outcomes realised from the Technology Plan include the delivery of:

  • the Data Analytics Centre of Excellence
  • the Augmented Intelligence Centre of Excellence
  • the Service Connect platform
  • Payment Utility
  • Digital Engagement platform
  • the Elastic Private Infrastructure Cloud.

Service stability

In 2018–19, the department continued to maintain the stability of its core systems. As part of that, we report on the number of ‘priority one’ incidents per month. This is where a system, network, application or customer self service capability is unavailable or severely degraded and there is no alternative available. This affects the ability of the department or an organisation to which it provides key services to meet customer service level commitments or otherwise has a significant impact on a critical function. In 2018–19, the average number of priority one incidents was 0.4 per month.

To support community demand for 24/7 online access, the department maintains ICT infrastructure to be available and to have enough capacity to meet customer needs. This is important during peak demand periods such as the end of the financial year, the end of the calendar year, and holiday processing periods. Complex data modelling indicates service demand profiles so that the department can increase infrastructure capacity in anticipation of demand peaks.

Telstra contract

On 22 June 2012, the department and Telstra Corporation Limited entered into one contract and two Australian Government Information Management Office work orders for the provision of fully managed telecommunications services, encompassing telecommunications, contact centres, videoconferencing, data and mobile services.

Since then, the department has increased its efficiency and productivity and improved service delivery through:

  • a common communication platform using internet protocol telephony
  • modern solutions to meet evolving requirements, including a workload distribution capability
  • integrated systems for workforce management
  • call recording and quality monitoring
  • an easier automated authentication process using voice biometrics.

ICT support for other government agencies

The department continues to provide ICT support to Australian and state/territory government departments and agencies, including:

  • the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA)—ICT services including corporate shared services
  • DVA—ICT services including corporate shared services
  • Gateway services to eight agencies as part of the Internet Gateway Reduction Initiative
  • the Department of Health—multiple services supported by ICT
  • the Australian Digital Health Agency—digital health services
  • the National Health Funding Body—services to support payment systems to states and territories
  • the Attorney-General’s Department—document verification services and emergency payment services
  • the Department of Home Affairs—shared testing services
  • the ATO—support for the government-to-government file transfer mechanism
  • the Department of Education—Child Care Subsidy.

The department also provides myGov capabilities for DVA, NDIA, ATO, the Department of Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business, and the Australian Digital Health Agency.