Tag: billion

AU$7.4 billion tied up in active Australian government IT projects

The Digital Transformation Agency (DTA) in early 2017 was charged with looking into the structures of existing Australian government high-cost technology projects over AU$10 million.

Previously, the agency would provide status reports on these projects but that information is no longer provided freely.

Documents received by ZDNet under freedom of information (FOI) in January revealed there were 62 active tech-related projects above AU$10 million underway by the federal government, but the details surrounding how much has been spent to date — and how many of the projects went above the budgeted amount — were refused under the FOI.

See also: Government IT projects failing as DTA’s phone calls go unanswered

In its Annual Report 2019-20 [PDF] published this week, the DTA revealed the total amount of funds tied up in government IT projects, although that figure only accounts for funds as of January 2020.

As of January, AU$7.4 billion was tied up in active government IT projects. AU$1.5 billion was also listed as the value for new proposals.

There were 36 agencies engaged with on 50 digital and IT-enabled initiatives and 26 agencies engaged with on 48 in-flight projects.

“We engaged with 26 entities on 48 in-flight projects and related activities to promote better practice project management methods and support project teams to realise intended benefits,” the DTA added under the header of in-flight achievements related to its target of providing advice and guidance on design and delivery of digital and IT projects.

“We engaged regularly with departments and agencies seeking advice, guidance and support for their efforts to apply the Digital Service Standard and the service design and delivery process to their service transformation efforts.”

The DTA also said, under achievements, that it has continued its work with agencies and provided independent assurance for major digital investments as part of the AU$500 million Australian Public Service (APS) Modernisation Fund.

“During the year, we also engaged with 25 agencies on 21 strategic digital and ICT forums, designed to maintain and build on inter-departmental relationships,” it added.

According to the DTA, its purpose is to “lead digital transformation in government to make services simple, smart, and user-focused” and its mission is to “encourage coordinated investment in digital services, assist to transform the user experience for individuals and business, and improve the return on information and communications technology and digital investment”.

Overall, the DTA said it achieved its planned priorities for the year, which fell under four areas: Delivering whole-of-government strategies, policies, and advice to support the government’s digital and IT agenda; designing, delivering, and supporting common government-wide platforms and services that enable digital transformation; delivering a program of digital and IT capability improvement, including sourcing, to enhance capability and skills across the APS; and driving collaboration and partnerships to enable and accelerate the digital transformation of government services.

The DTA also touted 800 people participated in APS digital and IT capability training.

According to the agency, there are 18.7 million active myGov accounts and 1.4 million users of digital identity for

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Meet Billionaire Politician Tom Steyer’s Wife, A Pioneering Impact Investor On A Mission To Spend $1 Billion Righting Society’s Wrongs

Kat Taylor started a bank, a venture capital firm and an agribusiness to use capitalism’s toolbox to fight systemic racism, environmental destruction and economic inequality.

On March 1st, as she gathered with thousands of others to march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama on the 55th anniversary of Bloody Sunday, Kat Taylor burst into a rendition of Aretha Franklin’s “Do Right Woman, Do Right Man.” These days, Taylor is best known as the singing spouse of billionaire climate change activist and ex-Democratic presidential candidate Tom Steyer. But in the world of impact investing, she’s famous in her own right for the breadth and ambition of her efforts, as well as her musical shtick. Indeed, Taylor’s efforts are the big reason the couple made the Forbes Impact 50 for 2020.

Way back in 2007 (the stone age in impact investing), Taylor and Steyer launched an idea they’d talked about for years: use a charitable foundation to start a bank that would lend to nonprofits and do-gooder businesses and direct its profits back to their environmental and community charitable causes. With Taylor as CEO, Beneficial State Bank has grown into a $1.1 billion institution with 13 branches stretching from Washington to Southern California. The couple has put $110 million of charitable donations into Beneficial, which has $760 million in loans outstanding to its target market, though it hasn’t yet paid out dividends to the foundation. (Taylor is now Beneficial’s chair, having stepped away from the CEO job in January to campaign with Steyer.)

Meanwhile, Taylor has been pursuing an even more in-the-weeds environmental project: turning the 1,800 acre grass-fed cattle ranch 40 miles south of San Francisco that she and Steyer acquired in 2002 into a model for “regenerative” agriculture, focused on water and land quality as well as humane animal treatment. Before the pandemic, the TomKat Ranch was seeing steady sales of its prime LeftCoast Grassfed beef brand, collecting data on soil health, running on-site workshops and lobbying big buyers like schools and hospitals to demand regenerative food. Since the pandemic, it has shifted to hosting virtual webinars and has donated chickens and coops to struggling senior homes and food banks. While the couple has invested tens of millions into the ranch, it has yet to turn a profit. 

Finally, there’s what Taylor hopes will become her biggest impact play of all, Radicle Impact, a for-profit venture capital firm she co-founded in 2013 to invest in “good food, good money and good climate.” Radicle has so far poured $45 million, almost entirely from Taylor and Steyer, into 27 portfolio companies—everything from fintechs like LendUp and Aspiration to local farm company Hudson Valley Harvest to Aclima, which creates pollution sensing networks and UrbanFootprint, a seller of city planning software. But ultimately, Taylor hopes to deploy $1 billion in impact money, both from her family’s fortune and from outside investors, through Radicle—and to make real money doing it.

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HCA Healthcare to Return $6 Billion in Government Virus Aid

(Bloomberg) — HCA Healthcare Inc. plans to return $6 billion in emergency virus-relief aid received earlier this year, after the immediate business squeeze caused by the pandemic waned for the largest publicly traded U.S. hospital operator.

graphical user interface: In this photo illustration the HCA Healthcare logo is seen displayed on a smartphone.

© Photographer: SOPA Images/LightRocket
In this photo illustration the HCA Healthcare logo is seen displayed on a smartphone.

The company will return its federal relief funds, which include $4.4 billion in accelerated Medicare payments and a $1.6 billion distribution from the Provider Relief Fund. Under the latter program, Congress allocated $175 billion for hospitals and other medical providers, largely in grants that don’t need to be repaid.


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The relief grants allocated under the CARES Act were initially sent to help medical providers deal with lost revenue and additional expenses related to Covid. In guidance last month, the government said lost revenue would be calculated as a drop in year-over-year net operating income.

The change would require providers to show declines in bottom-line profits, rather than top-line revenues, attributable to the virus, so companies that reduced expenses as volumes fell may have to return some money, Spencer Perlman, director of health care research at Veda Partners, wrote in an Oct. 6 report.

A company spokesman said HCA could retain all of the provider relief grants through mid-2021, and possibly some permanently, and it could hold on to the accelerated Medicare payments for 29 months, based on the company’s current understanding of the guidance.

Since the initial outbreak of Covid-19 in the U.S., the company has gained experience managing through the pandemic, and “we believe returning these taxpayer dollars is appropriate and the socially responsible thing to do,” Chief Executive Officer Sam Hazen said in a statement.

HCA’s repayments will be funded through available cash and future cash flow. The company’s balance sheet is also less leveraged than its closest peers, with total debt of 3.23 times earnings, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

HCA also reported preliminary results for the third quarter, with adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization of $2.03 billion, missing analyst estimates. The results reflect a reversal of $822 million in stimulus income recorded during the second quarter, the Nashville, Tenn.-based company said in a statement.

HCA said hospital volumes in the third quarter were still down compared to the prior year, with same facility equivalent admissions expected to decline by 9%. The company plans to report full results on or about Oct. 26.

(Adds additional comment from company in fifth paragraph)

For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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Exxon in Guyana: Government approves $9 billion oil-drilling project

  • The small South American country of Guyana is home to immense offshore oil reserves that Exxon is planning to extract.
  • The company already has two drilling projects, and on Wednesday the government approved a third, further cementing the oil giant’s role in the country’s economic future. 
  • Do you have information on Exxon in Guyana? Reach out to this reporter at bjones@businessinsider.com or on WhatsApp at +1-646-768-1657. 
  • For more stories like this, sign up here for our weekly energy newsletter.

Exxon, the largest oil company in the West, strengthened its grip on Guyana’s oil riches on Wednesday as it received government approval for a third oil-drilling project, set to produce crude by 2024.

The small South American country is a critical piece of the oil giant’s future as it looks to extract oil cheaply. On Thursday, the price of crude was down about 38% relative to the start of the year, following a historic price collapse this past spring wrought by the coronavirus pandemic. 

The new development, known as Payara, is Exxon’s third offshore drilling project in Guyana, a country set to transform into an oil powerhouse over the coming decades. The company estimates that the Stabroek block — where it operates through a partnership with Hess Corp and China’s CNOOC — is home to more than 8 billion barrels of recoverable oil. 

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Headquartered in Irving, Texas, Exxon plans to invest $9 billion into Payara. One Exxon oil-drilling project in Guyana, known as Liza Phase 1, is currently producing oil, and another (Liza Phase 2) is on track to pump crude by early 2022, the company said. 

FILE PHOTO: An Exxon sign is seen at a gas station in the Chicago suburb of Norridge, Illinois, U.S., October 27, 2016. REUTERS/Jim Young/File Photo


Exxon’s controversial role in Guyana

Since Exxon first discovered oil in Guyana, back in 2015, the company’s presence has faced controversy and political turmoil.

In February, the global advocacy group Global Witness published a detailed report that alleged Exxon is taking advantage of the small country by striking an inequitable profit-sharing deal under suspect circumstances.

Then this summer, after a months-long vote recount, a new government stepped in that had criticized the Exxon deal as too generous, according to Reuters. Guyana’s new president, Irfaan Ali, promised that there’d be a comprehensive review of Exxon’s latest project — Payara. 

On Wednesday, the government approved the project, an Exxon representative confirmed.

“ExxonMobil is committed to building on the capabilities from our Liza Phase 1 and 2 offshore oil developments as we sanction the Payara field and responsibly develop Guyana’s natural resources,” Liam Mallon, president of Exxon upstream oil and gas, said in a statement Wednesday. “We continue to prioritize high-potential prospects in close proximity to discoveries and maximize value for our partners, which includes the people of Guyana.”

Read more: A leaked memo reveals Exxon is weighing job cuts across its oil-production business because of ‘prolonged negative market impacts’

The approval comes after Exxon reported steep financial losses and deployed various tactics to cut costs in response to the oil-price downturn.

As Business

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