28 Oct 2020

MBIE increases spend on digital overhaul to $13m

2:01 pm on 28 October 2020

A leading government department is spending millions of dollars more on IT upgrades amid the pandemic.

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The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) has increased the spend and scope of a digital overhaul begun two years ago.

The budget is up by a fifth to more than $13 million.

Covid-19 exposed how thousands of its staff had no secure access to up-to-date systems to work from home.

"Some elements of the original ... work programme were paused and other response work prioritised," the ministry said.

An extra unspecified amount has gone towards buying hundreds of new laptops and other hardware.

All the work came under existing service agreements so no formal tender was needed, it said.

The upgrade was expected to be finished next month, about six months late after adjusting for Covid.