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The cure for Turnbull tech-wrecks: spend more



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THE HON ED HUSIC MP

SHADOW MINISTER FOR THE DIGITAL ECONOMY MEMBER FOR CHIFLEY

THE CURE FOR TURNBULL TECH-WRECKS: SPEND MORE

Ignoring the digital debris piling up as a result of repeated IT stuff ups, the Turnbull Government has doubled down and added $3 billion to its IT upgrade spend.

With the total budget climbing to nearly $10 billion, the Turnbull Government has rarely stepped forward to acknowledge its previous mistakes in digital transformation.

And it’s failed to show the concrete steps taken to improve digital program management.

Here’s an important question for the Turnbull Government: how will you guarantee the extra $3 billion on IT projects will be spent well - and managed well?

This is not a small issue at a time when the government is ripping billions out of the hands of families through changes to childcare, family tax benefits, health and school funding.

In an interview with Fairfax Media today, the Digital Transformation Assistant Minister Angus Taylor claimed: “what we do need is the right oversight and that is what we’ve been doing with the Digital Transformation Agency.”

Mind you, this is the same agency that admitted in Senate Estimates last month it hadn’t been involved in - or helped clean up after - any of Turnbull tech-wrecks that stuffed up the delivery of services to the public.

The pile up of Turnbull tech-wrecks can’t be ignored. It includes:

• the Census failure; • the Centrelink robo-debt debacle; • the unexplained crashing of the ATO website, with massive loss of data; and, • the inability of the government to deliver on a project to trim down its 1500-

plus government websites to just one web portal.

But it’s not all that bad, Angus: remember, as Communications Minister your boss failed miserably with his management of the NBN - and then got promoted to PM. Chin up.

MONDAY 27 MARCH 2017 MEDIA: ELISHA PEARCE 0404 051 163