The Digital Transformation Agency has raised red flags over the development of the federal government’s new information and communications technology system for the aged care sector.
Recommended by the royal commission, the Future Aged Care ICT Platform – due to be delivered by 31 December – will modernise the sector’s information and communications architecture to streamline reporting, improve the quality and transparency of data, and reduce information technology costs across aged care.
A dataset of digital programs released by the DTA on Wednesday gives the $217 million platform a medium low delivery confidence assessment.
Just because a project has a low confidence score doesn’t mean it won’t achieve its objectives, says the DTA. However, it does represent a “snapshot at a point in time if issues and risks are not addressed.”
Rated as a tier 1 investment, the platform is regarded as one of the government’s “most complex and strategically significant digital or ICT investments, responsible for transforming the experience of people and business and improving the efficiency and effectiveness of government operations.”
In response to the DTA’s assessment, Anne Livingstone – executive lead of the Aged Care Industry Information Technology Council – told Australian Ageing Agenda the findings will come as no surprise to industry stakeholders. “This low-level confidence score identified by the DTA is shared by many in the sector,” she said.
Ms Livingstone added that the ACIITC “has long been concerned” about the lead times and budget required to develop a state-of-the-art technology platform.
The release this week of ACIITC’s Digital Maturity in Aged and Community Care report also underpins the need to closely look at the level of positioning that the sector has in respect to its own infrastructure and digital capability, said Ms Livingstone.
ACIITC’s discussions with technology vendors also indicates “a lot more information is required if any reforms are going to be achieved successfully in current timeframes,” she added.
“There is a clear need to revisit ACIITC’s Technology Roadmap for Aged Care in Australia to enact the extensive technological improvements required,” Ms Livingstone told AAA. “ACIITC welcomes the opportunity to work collaboratively with the government to achieve more successful delivery and higher quality of the technological underpinnings to enable reform.”
Meanwhile, another major aged care initiative, the Support at Home program – which, from 1 July 2025, replaces the Home Care Packages Program and the Short-Term Restorative Care Program – also received a medium low delivery confidence rating from the DTA.
The amalgamated program aims to provide older Australians with a single system for home support and provide appropriate funding and services to help them age in place.