The federal government has handed the Australian Taxation Office almost $151 million to improve data storage and security system resilience.
The new funding, revealed in the 2019-20 mid-year economic and fiscal outlook (MYEFO) today, comes after the agency secured $70 million to move out of its data centre in the April budget.
The funding will be provided over three years from 2019-20, though just how much will be spent on each has not been laid out.
The Department of Finance will use $0.5 million of the total funding to perform assurance reviews on the project.
MYEFO documents also reveal a further $31.2 million for the Department of Home Affairs to improve the country’s visa and citizenship processing ICT system over the next three years.
The funding will be used enhance the systems “online service delivery and data management capabilities”, ahead of the department’s decision on an external provider for the new billion-dollar visa processing platform.
Last month, the department revealed that at least $80 million had been spent on the design and procurement of the platform, which is slightly more than it was provided in the 2018 MYEFO for the work.
“The measure will improve the Department of Home Affairs’ ability to verify the identity of individuals arriving in Australia,” MYEFO documents states.
“The measure will also allow continued engagement with the market for a strategic technology solution to ensure Australia’s visa systems remain competitive, relevant and safeguard national security.”
The government has also made good on its election pledge to invest in cyber security, with MYEFO documents revealing that $152.7 million to be spent on a range of projects over the next four years.
It follows an undisclosed amount of funding in the April budget to address cyber security concerns against some of the country’s most critical systems.
The government’s cyber security resilience and workforce package will be used to create “additional specialist cyber security positions … to monitor and respond to cyber security threats”.
The positions will be created in the Australian Signals Directorate and the Department of Defence.
The funding will also be used to offer cyber security scholarships and training opportunities, as well as provide assistance to small businesses, older Australians and families on how to conduct online activities securely.
It will also be used to secure voter information, though no detail was provided on how this would be done.
Other funded measures include:
- $12 million in 2019-20 for the Civil Aviation Safety Authority to regulate commercial drone technologies in Australia.
- $3 million over two years for the Department of Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business to “undertake additional design work, stakeholder engagement and use research to further inform the development of the VET Student Loans IT System”.
- $2.1 million over two years to continue the Commonwealth’s contribution to the national coronial information system.
- $1.8 million over two years for the Australian Road Safety Foundation to pilot a digital road safety passport that informs Year 9 school students about road safety.