Information and Communication Technology
Finance manages a diverse range of technology in support of its own activities and as a service provider to other users. The department provides ICT support for the electorate offices of senators and members, supports whole-of-government ICT networks and manages a number of whole-of-government ICT applications. Finance’s ICT support for electorate offices is discussed under Outcome 3.
Departmental ICT support
During 2009-10 Finance moved its ICT infrastructure management from a support service contract provided by CSG Limited to an insourced service delivery model. The department further strengthened its ICT disaster recovery capability through the delivery of a consolidated data backup solution and a data storage hardware refresh. These initiatives addressed capacity constraints, achieved energy efficiencies and reduced the data centre footprint. A reduction in operational costs is anticipated.
The department upgraded its standard desktop operating environment in 2009-10 and refreshed the desktop and laptop fleet. Finance also began to rationalise its physical servers to achieve both operational and environmental efficiencies by further reducing the amount of hardware it maintains.
A number of key applications were moved to new equipment, providing improved reliability and savings in operational costs. Finance also upgraded a range of applications making them easier to maintain, and to improve responsiveness to emerging business requirements.
Whole-of-government network services
Finance provides ICT infrastructure services to support ministers, parliamentary offices and agency heads in Parliament House and throughout Australia. The department provides communications support for whole-of-government and inter-government meetings, including the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) and assists with the continuity of government in the event of a major incident. Finance also manages the Inter-government Communications Network, which provides secure communications links between Australian Government offices throughout Canberra.
During 2009-10, Finance installed the National TelePresence System (NTS). The NTS provides high definition, secure video conferencing services to link ministerial and COAG representatives, as well as other public service staff across Australia. These secure video conferencing TelePresence facilities are also discussed under Outcome 3.
Whole-of-government ICT applications
Finance manages a number of ICT applications and services that support whole‑of‑government activities. These include ‘australia.gov.au’ which is discussed under Outcome 2; AusTender, the government’s central procurement information system; and the Central Budget Management System (CBMS) which supports the government’s budget, financial reporting and cash management processes.
During 2009-10, Finance implemented the final module of the current version of the CBMS: Annual Actuals, which supports the preparation of the Final Budget Outcome and the Consolidated Financial Statements for the whole of government. Advanced web development techniques were used in the creation of this module, as well as in other parts of the system, which resulted in improved usability and system performance. A project to refresh the server infrastructure was also commenced with a planned completion date in early 2011.The current version of the CBMS is due to reach its end of useful life by the end of 2012. The redevelopment of the CBMS is discussed under Outcome 1.