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Thursday, 14 May 1987
Page: 3291

(Question No. 5027)

Mr Hodges asked the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, upon notice, on 17 February 1987:

(1) What word processing or computer equipment has been introduced into the Minister's Department and statutory authorities responsible to the Minister since 1982.

(2) Why was the equipment purchased and were any specific targets set in terms of time or cost savings and improved efficiencies.

(3) What has been the cost of purchasing the equipment.

(4) Has the introduction of the equipment necessitated the purchase of new office equipment; if so, what have been the costs of the additional purchases.

(5) Has the introduction of the equipment led to changes in work practices; if so, what has been the nature of the changes.

(6) What has been the incidence of repetition strain injury (RSI) in the Minister's Department since 1982.

(7) How many lost working days have been caused by RSI related illnesses since 1982.

(8) How many persons have been forced to retire from the Minister's Department or statutory authorities responsible to the Minister as a result of RSI and what have been the compensation costs of this early retirement.

(9) Has introduction of the equipment (a) saved money and (b) improved efficiency in the Minister's Department or the statutory authorities responsible to the Minister.

Mr Holding —The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1) Aboriginal Development Commission; Honeywell DPS-6, NEC APC111 and IV and Adler word processing systems.

Australian Institute of Aboriginal Studies; WICAT System 200 multi-user computer Sun 3/160 multi-user computer, Morrow Micro-Design single-user computer, Digital Equipment Corporation Ranbow 100 and Personal computer, Two Osborne 1, three Kaypro-11, two Kaypro 4 and one Apple 11i portable, Sytek Local Net 20 Local are network.

Aboriginal Hostels Limited; 1 Alto 8000 CPM computer, 8 Sanyo MBC 1000 CPM, 1 Apple Mackintosh, 1 Apple Image printer.

Department of Aboriginal Affairs; 15 Desktop computers and one portable personal computer with printers, 30 visual display terminals and ten printers for accessing a bureau network.

(2) Aboriginal Development Commission; The equipment was purchased to:

Provide improved financial recording and management

Provide better access to information about loans made by the Commission

Improve management of projects

Reduce costs associated with production of publications and films

Reduce storage needs

Eliminate repetitive clerical procedures

The only target set was in terms of time for the financial system changeover from manual to the on-line in-house system targeted for early 1983-84.

Australian Institute of Aboriginal Studies; Purchased and upgraded during the period to replace smaller units and to improve efficiency in areas such as publishing, accounting, library services, word processing and Research activities.

Aboriginal Hostels Limited; To increase capacity for

General ledger-keeping

Word processing

Data storage and analysis

Desk top publishing

Department of Aboriginal Affairs; Purchased to assist the Department in the performance of its functions. Targets were set to provide timely and efficient information services which, in most instances, would have required a staffing increase of 10%.

(3) Aboriginal Development Commission; $757,015

Australian Institute of Aboriginal Studies; $329,196

Aboriginal Hostels Limited; $179,375

Department of Aboriginal Affairs; $850,000

(4) Aboriginal Development Commission; $5,250

Australian Institute of Aboriginal Studies; $13,540

Aboriginal Hostels Limited; $8,827

Department of Aboriginal Affairs; $18,674

(5) Aboriginal Development Commission; Yes. The changes have been

Manual practices discontinued

Improved financial reconciliation

Improved retrieval functions

Queries on loan accounts answered readily with easy access to the stored information.

Australian Institute of Aboriginal Studies; The system is not yet fully implemented therefore changes have not been noticeable. It is expected, however, that with introduction of full computerisation, changes in work practices will inevitably result.

Aboriginal Hostels Limited; Introduction of new equipment has led to the retraining of some staff and changes in duties for some positions to include computer operations.

Department of Aboriginal Affairs; Greater us of VDTs has resulted in decreasing reliance on manual filing systems. The introduction of Word Processing equipment has increased the Department's capabilities to produce high quality accurate work in a shorter time. The system is networked throughout Australia thus enabling communication between word processing centres.

(6) Aboriginal Development Commission; 5 cases

Australian Institute of Aboriginal Studies; 4 cases

Aboriginal Hostels Limited; 5 cases

Department of Aboriginal Affairs; 25 cases

(7) Aboriginal Development Commission; 196 days

Australian Institute of Aboriginal Studies; 255.3 days

Aboriginal Hostels Limited; 72 days

Department of Aboriginal Affairs; 2635 days

(8) Aboriginal Development Commission: (a) Nil; (b) Nil.

Australian Institute of Aboriginal Studies: (a) Nil; (b) Nil.

Aboriginal Hostels Limited: (a) Nil; (b) Nil.

Department of Aboriginal Affairs: (a) Nil; (b) Statutory payments in accordance with legislation of $175.50 per week each currently for 3 officers in Central Office.

(9) Aboriginal Development Commission: (a) Yes; (b) Yes.

Australian Institute of Aboriginal Studies: (a) The introduction of the equipment has not, as yet, shown a saving as equipment is still being purchased; (b) When fully implemented, is expected to increase efficiency in all areas.

Aboriginal Hostels Limited: (a) Yes. Cost savings have been achieved in all areas, especially accounting and publication productions, such as the Annual Report; (b) Yes. New equipment has improved the efficiency and effectiveness of the Company's operations.

Department of Aboriginal Affairs: (a) Yes; (b) Yes.