Wednesday, May 04, 2016

IT matters of interest in the 2016/2017 Federal Budget

From 1996, when the Australian budget was first put on-line, to 2015, I produced a summary of IT related items. This year the Australian Computer Society sponsored a "Budget Insider 2016", so I have not produced my own summary. However, here are some brief comments:

The governments' Youth Jobs PaTH for pre-employment skills training sounds worthwhile. However the government needs to put in place effective measures to prevent fraud in the system, as has happened with the VET-HELP scheme (with several billion dollars lost).

What is not mentioned on education in the budget is how to manage the transformation from classroom to on-line. If Australian institutions do not make this change in the next five to ten years, the current education export industry will collapse and become an education services deficit of about $25B per year. To help prevent that I have prepared a proposal for a train-the-trainer program on Entrepreneurial Skills and Digital Technology. I plan to present this at an international computer education conference later in the year.

The Australian Digital Health Agency (ADHA) is unlikely to be any more successful than the NEHTA (National E-Health Transition Authority) it replaces, in adoption of the e-Health records. After expenditure of more than a billion dollars there is little to show. The project should be abandoned and rethought: What is the government trying to accomplish? How best can it be done? Who has succeeded at this elsewhere?

The Digital Transformation Office (DTO) has been given some more time to prove itself. But I suggest that if it does not start producing some tangible results in the next year, it should, and will, be scrapped.

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