A new Whole-of-Government (WofG) reporting tool showing the status of ICT projects is “only the tip of the iceberg” in terms of the New South Wales Government’s recent digital developments, said Minister for Finance, Services and Property Victor Dominello.
The digital.nsw website – launched at the inaugural Digital Thought Leadership Event in November 2017 – is key to advancing the NSW government’s plans to “put the citizen at the centre of everything we do.”
The website is a reporting tool that displays WofG digital projects. The projects can be sorted by cluster, budget size, and the three priorities identified in NSW’s May 2017 digital strategy – customer experience, data, and digital on the inside.
The colour of the circles represents each of the three strategic priorities set in the digital strategy, and the size of the circles represents the amount of funding allocated to the project. Clicking on a project will also show whether the project spans across different agencies.
Minister Dominello stressed the importance of “getting the message out in terms of where we are driving NSW Digital Strategy, and whether we are sharing enough with the private sector”, as well as other stakeholders.
“We’ve made it mandatory for agencies to report on the projects every six months. And these projects must be displayed on digital.nsw.
“We want to ensure that dealing with government is a pleasant experience – one that matches the experience you get from the likes of Apple or Uber”, said Dominello.
The Minister also provided an update on dMarketplace, the government’s data sharing platform, which was announced under the 2016 Open Data Action Plan. According to Dominello, “[t]he dMarketplace is the ‘TripAdvisor’ for data and it has been built for both government and public consumption.”
The dMarketplace will be released to government agencies next week, and to the public in the first quarter of 2018.
The platform – built by Data Republic under a three year $4.4 million contract – makes it easier for agencies to share data and make data-driven decisions.
“One of the problems we’ve had with open data is that it is too difficult for people to use, because it was just thousands of unorganised datasets,” said Dominello. “dMarketplace solves this problem by organising these datasets around life events, such as moving to a new suburb, or setting up a new business.”
It also displays data spatially – showing things like local schools, transport options, and cheapest fuel stations on a map. Visitors can leave comments and “rate” the datasets.
“We’ve turned dMarketplace into a citizen-facing tool,” said Dominello. “Because why should only government agencies benefit from better practice in data analytics?”
For Dominello, the project also represents a cultural shift within government towards data sharing.
“Symbolically, the dMarketplace is just the next logical step that will lower barriers for data sharing within government.”
The dMarketplace is also expected to link up with tools developed as part of the “Trends NSW” program. The Trends NSW project will essentially provide citizens with a single portal to access meaningful and easy to understand performance graphs and trends for NSW Government. According to an approach to market in July, the public will be able to access the dMarketplace datasets via API to create charts, graphs, diagrams, and dashboards through a visualisation toolkit on the Trends NSW platform.
Dominello also announced that the NSW Data Analytics Centre (DAC) will be moving from the DFSI to Treasury in January 2018.
“This is because data and money need to go hand in hand. Making decisions with taxpayers’ money must be based on evidence”, he said.
Other key digital initiatives underway in NSW include: the Ministry of Health’s digital patient records project; the Department of Finance, Science and Innovation’s (DFSI) digital drivers’ licence project, which is currently being trialled in Dubbo; and Fuel Check, which provides real-time information about fuel prices at service stations across NSW. The Fuel Check service is now available as an app.