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NSW budget pours millions into digital transformation

by Poppy Johnston •
Free resource

Topics: IT Services; Data Analytics; ICT Strategy; Digital Transformation; NSW.

Harnessing the power of data to allocate resources more efficiently emerged as a key theme in the 2016-17 New South Wales Budget, with the new Data Analytics Centre (DAC) receiving $17 million over four years to continue its Whole-of-Government (WofG) data analytics work.

“In a world rich with data, the DAC can diagnose the problems confronting many in government and allow agencies to provide the solutions”, Minister for Innovation and Better Regulation Victor Dominello said in a press statement released on budget day.

Other WofG data initiatives in the 2016-17 Budget include $1.2 million allocated to target green slip fraud. As part of a suite of reforms that aim to bring green slip prices down, state-of-the-art data analytics will be used to help detect fraud and assist in the investigation and prosecution of those caught. 

NSW also intends to remain a leader in government digital transformation, providing $50 million in additional funding in 2016-17 for Service NSW to move additional agency services online as part of their goal of conducting 70 per cent of government transactions through digital channels by 2020. This will amount to a total of $415 million for Service NSW in 2016-17, which will be used to expand access to services through its regional and metropolitan network and to deliver major digital initiatives, including $12.3 million for NSW’s digital licence program.

To ensure NSW meets its digital transformation goals and other aspirations, $9.8 million in new funding over four years will go to establishing a Best Practice ICT Project delivery framework across government and other regulatory initiatives, including assurance and gateway support on ICT projects.

To further improve service delivery, a new Commissioning and Contestability Unit will be established within NSW Treasury to ensure high quality services are delivered by “whoever can do it best and most efficiently”, according to Treasurer Gladys Berejiklian in her budget speech. Allocated $2.9 million in 2016-17, the new unit will encourage outsourcing wherever it is most cost efficient.

Also mentioned in the budget papers is the Customer Dashboard, which is due for release at the end of 2016. This digital tool will assist in monitoring progress towards the state’s goals by providing a single snapshot of real-time data across government.

Transport

$125 million in 2016-17 has been allocated to reduce congestion on Sydney roads by addressing critical pinch points. This will include ongoing planning for the Smart Motorways program, and the delivery of real-time travel information systems and infrastructure on Sydney’s motorways.

Telecommunications

The NSW Government Telecommunications Authority will receive $138 million in 2016-17, including $63 million in new funding for the Critical Communications Enhancement Program (CCEP) to enhance the WofG land mobile radio communications infrastructure serving the state’s emergency, law enforcement, public safety, and essential services agencies.

Health

As part of the almost $1.6 billion to be spent in the coming year to continue the NSW Government’s health capital works program, $126 million will go towards ICT and digital enhancements in NSW hospitals.

$4.6 million will be spent in 2016-17 on upgrading ambulance business systems as part of a $150 million boost for NSW Ambulance personnel and infrastructure.

Education and Training

The Department of Industry, Skills and Regional Development will receive $97 million in 2016-17 towards modernising facilities and funding information technology initiatives, including information technology projects for TAFE NSW. The replacement of the currently underperforming TAFE student management system is likely to be one of these projects.

Justice

$36 million in 2016-17 was allocated to continue the implementation of the $100 million Policing for Tomorrow Technology Fund announced in the 2015-16 Budget. This includes the rollout of body worn video cameras to record incidents or events to help support investigations, hand-held narcotic analysers for fast and accurate results in testing for multiple drugs, and mobile tablet computers and fingerprint scanners. 

Additionally, $570 million has been allocated over four years to support comprehensive reform of the justice system, which will include upgrades to digital management and case management systems.

Community safety

The budget will fund a $2.9 million domestic violence GPS monitoring system as part of the doubled investment in specialist domestic violence services and initiatives in the 2016-17 budget. The increase will bring the total spent to more than $300 million over four years, up from $148.5 million in the 2015-16 budget.

Other key ICT and procurement-related budget initiatives (new and ongoing) include:

  • $35 million in 2016-17 to bolster State Records’ capacity to safeguard and showcase the state’s archives and records, including the urgent digitisation of at-risk records;
  • $20 million in 2016-17 to continue developing the Department of Planning and Environment’s ePlanning system to enable faster housing approvals;
  • $13.9 million in 2016-17 to the Treasury to continue their Financial Management Transformation program;
  • $2.4 million in 2016-17 for the NSW Electoral Commission to continue their Human Capital Management System project (commenced in 2013-14), which will improve agencies’ ability to manage capability, performance, workforce planning, and learning and development; and,
  • $1.4 million in 2016-17 for the finalisation of the NSW Electoral Commission’s three-year project to develop a Roll Management System.

A full list of NSW ICT allocations, both new and ongoing, will soon be available in Intermedium’s Budget IT tool.

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NSW 2015-16 Budget puts a spotlight on whole-of-government ICT

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SME wins $6.3m CSNSW next-gen offender monitoring contract

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$12 million for tech to tackle domestic violence

NSW enters next phase of digital government

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