Tuesday, May 11, 2010

IT matters of interest in the 2010/2011 Federal Budget

Just about every year since the Australian Federal Budget was first put on the web, I have done a quick search though the documents to find matters of interest in information technology.

This year I was able to access the 2010/2011 budget web site at 7:34pm. Unfortunately by 7:53pm the system had failed, reporting: "HTTP Error 404 - File or directory not found". From the error message it appears that the government is using Microsoft Internet Information Services" (IIS) for providing the budget service. By 8:20pm the system was responding again.


Each year from 1996 to 2006 the budget web site got better. But by 2007-08 seemed to reached a stable design, also used for 2009/2010 and 2010/2011. The site is in the same HTML 4.01 Transitional, as last year and has not been changed to XHTML, as used for newer web sites. The code is clean and efficient.

The home page failed a W3C HTML Markup Validation test, with 4 errors. These are minor ones and the same number as last year. It is disappointing that with the importance of the budget, the Australian Government cannot correct minor web syntax errors. . I was not able to conduct an automated accessibility test, but it seemed likely to pass at Level 1, as last year. The home page scored a very poor 35% on the W3C mobileOK Checker, far worse than the 66% last year.

As with the last two years, important tables in the overview are provided as blurry image files, while the detailed documents have better formatted HTML tables.


The budget search service responded in less than a second, in contrast to a very slow service last year. References to "Information Technology" are the same 15 as last year (which was up from 9 the year before).


There were no big ticket IT items in the budget to match last year's National Broadband Network. However, several projects contain significant IT components, such $467 million to introduce individual electronic health records. Also a significant proportion of the $661 million for the Skills for Sustainable Growth strategy, $5.6 billion for a an infrastructure fund and $1 billion to renew rail networks are likely to involve computers and telecommunications.

Personally controlled Individual Electronic Health Records

The Government will provide $466.7 million over two years from 2010‑11 to establish the key national components of a personally controlled Individual Electronic Health Record (IEHR) system. This will be a secure, online system that enables health care providers to access and use an individual's health care record when and where it is needed, as long as they have given their consent.

This modernisation of our health system will boost patient safety, make it easier to navigate the health system and slash waste and duplication. ...

From: A National Health and Hospitals Network, Statement 1: Budget Overview, Budget, Australian Government, 11 May 2010

Comments on previous budgets:

1996 http://www.anu.edu.au/mail-archives/link/link9608/0096.html
1997 http://www.anu.edu.au/mail-archives/link/link9705/0315.html
1998 http://www.anu.edu.au/mail-archives/link/link9805/0174.html
1999 http://www.anu.edu.au/mail-archives/link/link9905/0265.html
2000 http://www.anu.edu.au/mail-archives/link/link0005/0358.html
2002 http://www.anu.edu.au/mail-archives/link/link0205/0318.html
2004 http://mailman.anu.edu.au/pipermail/link/2004-May/056673.html
2005 http://www.archivum.info/link@mailman.anu.edu.au/2005-05/msg00035.html
2006 http://mailman.anu.edu.au/pipermail/link/2006-May/066486.html
2007 http://www.tomw.net.au/blog/2007/05/it-matters-of-interest-in-20072008.html
2008 http://www.tomw.net.au/blog/2008/05/it-matters-of-interest-in-20072008.html
2009 http://blog.tomw.net.au/2009/05/it-matters-of-interest-in-20092010.html


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