The Public Service Modernisation Fund: a quick guide

20 June 2017

PDF version [290KB]

Philip Hamilton and Simon Speldewinde
Politics and Public Administration Section

The 2016–17 Budget, in a novel development for the Efficiency Dividend, provided that $500 million of projected savings would be reinvested in reforms ‘such as automation of public services and business re-engineering’. In 2016–17, funding was included in the forward estimates but without detail on specific initiatives.[1]

The vehicle for reinvestment is the Public Service Modernisation Fund (PSMF). The PSMF appeared for the first time in the 2016–17 Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook (MYEFO), with the provision of $20.4 million over five years to the Australian War Memorial and the National Library of Australia.[2]

The 2017–18 Budget outlines how, through two cross-portfolio budget measures, the PSMF will fund a number of initiatives expected to ‘deliver quality government services at lower cost and use leading technology and collaborative approaches to address complex problems facing society’.[3]

  • Funding of $350.0 million over three years from 2017–18 is appropriated for a ‘transformation and innovation’ measure, which comprises better use of data within government; streamlining and improving user access to government services; strengthening APS workforce capability; and more efficient corporate services.
  • Funding of $150.0 million over three years from 2017–18 is appropriated for an ‘agency sustainability’ measure, which aims to support ‘a number of agencies [in] their transition to more modern and sustainable operating models’.[4]

Details of specific PSMF expenditures are dispersed across portfolio budget statements. This quick guide consolidates the PSMF initiatives, listing them by portfolio and entity in a single table with links to relevant sources. For clarity those portfolios not currently slated to receive funding have been included in the table. 

Abbreviations and acronyms

AS Agency sustainability measure nfp Not for publication
BP2 Budget measures: budget paper no. 2: 2017–18 PBS Portfolio Budget Statement
BP4 Agency resourcing: budget paper no. 4: 2017–18 PSMF Public Service Modernisation Fund
MYEFO Mid-year economic and fiscal outlook 2016–17 T&I Transformation and innovation measure

Table: Public Service Modernisation Fund initiatives listed by portfolio and entity

Portfolio and entity T&I measure
$m
AS measure
$m
Agriculture and Water Resources Portfolio    
No PSMF measures in the PBS.
Attorney-General’s Portfolio    
Attorney-General’s Department
‘Funding of $0.725m will be provided in 2019–20’: PBS, pp. 14 and 16 note (b).
0.725
Australian Federal Police
Funding of $0.725m will be provided in 2019–20’: PBS, pp. 94 and 95 note (c).
0.725
Federal Court of Australia
‘Funding of $14.007m will be provided over three years’: PBS, p. 204 note (a).
14.007
Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions
‘$1.994m will be provided over three years for departmental expenses and ... $2.507m will be provided over two years for capital expenses’: PBS, p. 260 note (a) (Table 1.2).
Departmental
 1.994
Capital 2.507
Communications and the Arts Portfolio    
Australian National Maritime Museum
‘The ANMM will receive funding of $6.290 million in 2017–18; $6.140 million in 2018–19; and $1.470 million in 2019–20’ for ‘Critical Capital Works’: PBS, pp. 139 note (a) and 144.
13.900
National Film and Sound Archive
‘The NFSA will receive funding of $0.996 million in 2017–18; $2.708 million in 2018–19; and $0.180 million in 2019–20’: PBS, p. 157 note (a).
3.884
National Gallery of Australia
PSMF support for the NGA is mentioned in the PBS (pp. 18 note (b) and 32), but no details are provided in the NGA statements (pp. 173–90)
Not
disclosed
National Library of Australia
Two point six million ‘will be used for the digitisation of library collection material and the upgrade of critical infrastructure’: PBS, p. 196.
2.600
In addition, the MYEFO provided ‘$16.4 million over four years from 2016–17 to the NLA for digitisation of material and upgrade of critical infrastructure for its Trove digital information resource and to upgrade other critical infrastructure’: MYEFO, p. 140. 16.400
National Museum of Australia
‘The NMA will receive funding of $2.667 million in 2017–18; $3.078 million in 2018–19; and $3.194 million in 2019–20’: PBS, p. 211.
8.939
National Portrait Gallery of Australia
PSMF support for the NPGA is mentioned in the PBS (pp. 18 note (b) and 32), but no details are provided in the NPGA statements (pp. 223–40).
Not
disclosed
Old Parliament House
‘OPH will receive: operational funding of $1.889 million in 2017–18; $2.274 million in 2018–19; and $0.502 million in 2019–20; and capital funding of $2.322 million in 2017–18; $3.226 million in 2018–19; and $3.429 million in 2019–20’: PBS, p 247 note (a).
Operational
4.665
Capital
8.977
Defence Portfolio (including Veterans’ Affairs)    
Department of Veterans’ Affairs
In 2017–18, DVA has an increase in ‘expense’ funds of $4.269m and an increase in capital funds of $0.743m: PBS, p. 30 note (c).
Expense:
4.269
Capital:
0.743
Australian War Memorial
The AWM will receive an increase in ‘expense’ funds of $0.748m in 2017–18, $0.114m in 2018–19, and $0.114m in 2019–20; and an increase in capital funds of $1.637m in 2017–18, $2.390m in 2018–19, and $1.733m in 2019–20: PBS, p. 97.
Expense:
0.976
Capital:
5.760
‘The Memorial will conduct an organisational review and restructure [and] upgrade and restructure the outdated and highly customised information, communication and technology (ICT) systems underpinning the agency’s core capabilities’: PBS, p. 94.    
In addition, the MYEFO provided $4.0m over four years from 2017–18 (including $1.0m in 2020–21) to ‘ensure that the AWM can continue to deliver its core activities’: MYEFO, p. 140.   4.000
Education and Training Portfolio    

National Education Evidence Base/Data Integration Partnership for Australia
As part of the Data Integration Partnership of Australia (DIPA), $14.3m is provided over three years for the National Education Evidence Base to ‘bring together data on all phases of education—early childhood, schooling, VET and higher education—to develop a nationally-consistent approach to understanding student pathways’: PBS, p. 14.
Subsequently, the Government announced that it ‘will invest $130.8 million in the DIPA over three years, through the Public Sector Modernisation Fund announced in the Budget’: A Taylor (Assistant Minister For Cities And Digital Transformation Data), Analytics teams to deliver better targeted services, media release, 25 May 2017.

14.300
Employment Portfolio    
No PSMF measures in the PBS.
Environment and Energy Portfolio    
Department of the Environment and Energy
‘This measure includes funding of $0.7 million in 2019–20’: PBS, p. 27.
0.700
Bureau of Meteorology
‘This measure includes funding of $0.7 million in 2019–20’: PBS, p. 119.
0.700
Finance Portfolio    
Department of Finance
For the Transformation and Innovation (T&I) measure, ‘Finance will receive funding of $51.5 million (including capital funding of $10.6 million) over the forward estimates’: PBS, pp. 20 (note j) and 37–38.
40.900
Capital:
10.600
For the Agency Sustainability (AS) measure ‘Finance will receive funding of $3.3 million over the forward estimates’: PBS, p. 20 (note i). 3.300
Australian Electoral Commission
For the AS measure, ‘the AEC will receive funding of $1.3 million over the forward estimates’: PBS, p. 73 (note a).
1.300
Foreign Affairs and Trade Portfolio    
No PSMF measures in the PBS.
Health Portfolio    
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare
For the T&I measure, ‘the Government will provide $3.4 million over three years’: PBS, p. 208.
3.400
Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority
For the AS measure, ‘the Government will provide $0.8 million’: PBS, p. 246.
0.800
Australian Sports Commission
For the AS measure, ‘the Government will provide $0.4 million’: PBS, p. 273.
0.400
National Health and Medical Research Council
For the AS measure, $8.5m to facilitate implementation of the Research Impact and Grant Application Assignment prototype apps, ‘two prototype software applications (apps) that automate resource intensive and repetitive tasks within the grants administration process’: PBS, p. 390.
8.500
$3.9m in 2017–18 for ‘capital expenditure relating to an Enhanced Reporting System, Cloud Computing solution, and Digital Transition project’: PBS, p. 393. 3.900
Immigration and Border Protection Portfolio    
Department of Immigration and Border Protection
‘Funding of $0.7 million in 2019–20 for this measure has already been provided for by the Government’: PBS, p. 18 note (b).
0.700
Industry, Innovation and Science Portfolio    
Department of Industry, Innovation and Science
For the T&I measure, ‘$20.0 million in departmental expenses and $4.4 million in capital over the forward estimates’.
Departmental:
 20.000
Capital:
4.400
For the AS measure, ‘$8.2 million over the forward estimates’: PBS, pp. 18–20. 8.200
Australian Institute of Marine Science
‘Equity injections of $1.6 million and $0.2 million for 2017–18 and 2018–19 respectively ... will be applied to the installation of a Solar Photovoltaic System’: PBS, pp. 68 note (a) and 75.
1.800
CSIRO
‘This measure will provide $3.1 million in 2017–18, $6.6 million in 2018–19 and $6.1 million in 2019–20’: PBS, p. 115.
15.800
It is not clear whether all of this funding is committed to ‘expand[ing] the role of Data61, Australia’s leading digital research network [to] deliver a data integration platform that supports law enforcement and regulatory agencies to better detect, prevent and disrupt illicit activities within Australia and overseas’: BP4, p. 2.    
Geoscience Australia
‘This measure will provide $6.0 million in 2017–18 and $9.3 million in 2018–19’: PBS, p. 146.
15.300
The budget papers note that ‘Geoscience Australia will deliver a platform that provides insights from satellite data into the changing Australian landscape and coastline. This will benefit industry, researchers and the Australian community’: BP4, p. 2.    
Infrastructure and Regional Development Portfolio    
National Capital Authority
The AS measure capital funding is for ‘business and ICT transformation and improvements to NCA managed buildings’: PBS, p. 176.
nfp
‘Additional funding in 2017–18 to ... undertake essential maintenance of Commonwealth assets and for strategic investment in improved asset management systems. The expenditure for this measure is not for publication (nfp) due to commercial-in-confidence sensitivities’: BP2, p. 135; PBS, p. 169.    
Parliamentary departments    
No PSMF measures.
Prime Minister and Cabinet Portfolio    
Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet
Quantum and purpose of PSMF funding are not disclosed in PBS, pp. 23–24.
Not
disclosed
Australian Public Service Commission
For the T&I measure, ‘appropriations will increase in 2017–18 [and decrease to] lower levels in 2018–19 and 2019–20’: PBS, p. 117. Details not disclosed in PBS, p. 110.
Not
disclosed
In the budget papers, it is stated that ‘funding will also be provided to drive further uptake of Behavioural Economics, to improve the development of evidence-based policy, and to support digital skill training for public sector staff’: BP4, p. 3.    
Digital Transformation Agency
Details not disclosed in PBS, p. 135.
 
In the budget papers, the DTA is committed to improving ‘Tell us once’ service, and ‘develop[ing] a Federated Data Exchange platform that removes the need to build and maintain bespoke point-to-point data exchanges between agencies’: BP4, p. 3. Not
disclosed
 
Torres Strait Regional Authority
Details not disclosed in PBS, p. 300. AS measure funding for ‘the replacement of the Torres Strait Regional Authority land and sea management facility on Thursday Island’: BP4, p. 3.
Not
disclosed
Treasury Portfolio    
Department of the Treasury
T&I measure and AS measure funding ‘to support the consolidation of shared corporate services arrangements. The funding impacts of these two measures are as follows: $7.7 million in 2017–18; $10.0 million in 2018–19 and $7.7 million in 2019–20’: PBS, p. 21 note (b).
25.400
Australian Bureau of Statistics
$37.7m over three years from 2017–18 for T&I measure purposes: PBS, p. 57.
37.700
Australian Securities and Investments Commission
$0.725m in 2019–20: PBS, p. 152.
0.725

 


[1].     Australian Government, Budget measures: budget paper no. 2: 2016–17, p. 71.

[2].     S Morrison (Treasurer) and M Cormann (Minister for Finance), Mid-year economic and fiscal outlook 2016–17, p. 140.

[3].     Australian Government, Agency resourcing: budget paper no. 4: 2017–18, p. 2. For more information about the four initiatives, see P Hamilton, ‘Public sector ICT’, Budget review 2017–18, Research paper series, 2016–17, Parliamentary Library, Canberra, 2017.

[4].     Agency resourcing: budget paper no. 4: 2017–18, pp. 2–3. There is an apparent discrepancy in that the agency sustainability figure is reported as $129.6 million in Australian Government, Agency measures: budget paper no. 2: 2017–18, pp. 75–76. As shown in this quick guide, the apparent discrepancy may be due to information that is ‘not for publication’ or is for other reasons not disclosed in the 2017–18 portfolio budget statements.

 

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