Information and communications technology.
The department’s Technology Plan 2016–20 sets out the vision for ICT, which is to provide government services through a trusted digital services platform. It supports the Corporate Plan 2017–18, the Digital Transformation Strategy and the Digital Transformation Agency’s goal of transforming services to be simple, clear and fast. The plan builds on the department’s transformation so far and provides a structure to establish the department as a leading provider of government services.
A core capability of the digital services platform is a system of planning that will enable the department to identify, engage, collaborate on, align and ensure the consistency and transparency of funded initiatives that provide opportunities and solutions to achieve the Technology Plan deliverables. These initiatives include Welfare Payment Infrastructure Transformation, the Child Care Subsidy, health and aged care systems reform, a citizen to government to business eMarketplace, cognitive computing, a data lake, virtual assistants, an elastic private infrastructure cloud and shared government services.
In 2017–18 the department continued to maintain the stability of its core systems. The average number of priority one incidents was 0.17 per month. Priority one applies if a system, network, application or customer self service capability is unavailable or severely degraded, there is no alternative available, and this affects 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.
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 financial year, end of 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.
The department has consolidated its telecommunications services through a managed contract with Telstra. This contract consolidated over 20 individual telecommunications contractual arrangements into a single managed services arrangement. It covers end-to-end voice and data services, voice carriage, contact centre services, videoconferencing services and mobile phone services.
Since the contract started in 2012, the department has increased efficiency and productivity and significantly improved service delivery through:
- a common communication platform using internet protocol telephony
- modern solutions to meet the department’s 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 continued to provide ICT support to other Australian, state and territory government agencies, including:
- internet gateway services to eight departments and agencies
- data warehousing and business information services to several departments, primarily the Department of Social Security and the Department of Health. Services include:
- collecting data from transaction processing systems
- formatting, relating and storing that data in a data warehouse
- developing analytical and reporting products that use it
- information and data exchange programs
- online capability for:
- the Higher Education Contribution Scheme Reimbursement Scheme
- business services supporting the Parental Leave Pay scheme
- ICT components and technical operational support, including:
- components of the My Health Record system
- the National Authentication Service for Health, which enables secure electronic communications across the health sector
- authentication and digital services for users of myGov
- the National Health Funding Administrator Payments System, through which all state and territory government health departments provide payments to all public hospitals
- ICT shared services to DVA, including end-user computing, telephony, infrastructure and application support and development.
The department continues to support the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) by providing:
- a full suite of ICT shared services to the National Disability Insurance Agency, including end-user computing, information management and corporate systems, telephony, online channels and business systems
- support for general enquiries and participant and provider access to the NDIS by 250 contact centre staff who are trained to undertake this work
- other corporate shared services, including property support, payroll management, credit card management, accounts payable, accounts receivable, travel, fleet management, records management and security services.
Provider Digital Access
Provider Digital Access is an online authentication system used to securely access online services, including Health Professional Online Services and the NDIS provider portal.
Designed as a two-step verification process, the system requires a username, password and verification code to log on. A portable solution that requires no additional hardware or software, it enables health professionals and their administrators, including those in regional and remote communities, to connect with specific government services. See also Health Professional Online Services.