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Finance rebuilds two-year old IT system

AAP logoAAP 14/11/2016 Paul Osborne, AAP Senior Political Writer

A Finance Department computer system put in place just ahead of the 2014/15 federal budget will be replaced because of "usability issues".

Expressions of interest for the new "pre-budget system" close on Friday, ahead of an expected tender in early 2017 and a full rollout by early 2018.

Documents produced for potential tenderers say the existing system, which is only a few years old, "has some usability issues which are reducing the efficiency for staff interacting with the system".

The new system will be expected handle documents and other information from the initial step of costing a new policy proposal and assessing its impact on the budget bottom line, through to the finalised budget papers.

Labor frontbencher Andrew Leigh said it appeared to be another example of government waste.

"An entire computer system needs to be replaced within two years of its purchase - another Turnbull stuff-up," Dr Leigh said.

"The government are so distracted fighting each other that it is failing to do basic due diligence - and it is Australian taxpayers who are paying for the government's waste."

A government spokesperson told AAP "one element" of a pre-budget system had been set up in-house by the Finance Department to track the costing of new policy proposals.

But the new call for expressions of interest sought to build on that work and establish an integrated system bringing together the costing and other processes, such as the briefing process, tracking the financial impact of decisions and preparing budget documentation.

At the moment there are many separate spreadsheets and manual data sets.

"The expression of interest will help inform Finance of potential commercial off-the-shelf systems in the market with capability to address these pre-budget business requirements in a more modern and integrated way," the spokesperson said.

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