The back office of the New South Wales government is becoming “smarter” according to NSW Minister for Finance, Services and Property Victor Dominello, with many agencies now equipped with visual representations of data to help inform decision-making.
Providing a progress update on the NSW Digital Government Strategy almost a year since its launch, Minister Dominello told Intermedium that foundational work on the strategy’s three co-dependent priority areas – digital on the inside, data, and citizen centric services – was well underway.
In terms of digitising the back office, Dominello said new tools for sharing and analysing data, including data visualisation and dashboard tools, are already helping government staff make better decisions. For example, the ability to see real-time feedback from motorists claiming a compulsory third party (CTP) Green Slip refund – a new scheme that provides a partial refund on CTP insurance – can be used to identify common pain points in the new service.
Automatically refreshed every 15 minutes, these tools allow agencies to respond to issues quickly and with greater precision. As well as alerting staff to issues immediately, the location of the problem is visible on a map so that a rapid response can be targeted to problem sites only.
Getting to this point has not been easy, said Dominello, with the preliminary work to unlock government data and establish a “data ecosystem” for use across all Clusters taking place at the same time as the necessary privacy and security settings are put in place. The most difficult challenge, however, is cultural, where agencies refuse to share data as to do so would open themselves up to more transparency and accountability.
With the data ecosystem established and continuing to evolve, it can be expected that the government will start to experiment with future data-related initiatives identified in the digital strategy, such as “predictive self-learning tools” to measure data quality.
Digital initiatives in the pipeline
The NSW Government is looking at a “‘P’ marketplace” that will look “something like the Federal Government’s Digital Marketplace”, said Dominello. Aimed at improving procurement transparency and creating a more open and competitive seller environment, such an arrangement will help NSW achieve better value for money on its technology investments.
Another initiative in progress is electronic conveyancing. Following extensive industry consultation, the Government has committed to a detailed timetable for the introduction of paperless conveyancing. By July 2019, all standard property transactions in NSW will be conducted electronically, and all Certificates of Title will be phased out in favour of e-Titles.
The Government’s real-time FuelCheck app enables motorists to find the cheapest fuel anywhere in NSW. More than 162,000 people have downloaded the app since its launch last October. A My Trip function leverages Google Maps to enable users to find the cheapest petrol station on their journey and direct them to the station.
NSW Government will continue to build on wins achieved so far, including the successful citizen trial of NSW’s digital driver’s licence platform in Dubbo from November 2017. This will see the platform made available to all citizens later in the year.
Work on the dMarketplace is also nearing completion, which will enable citizens to choose datasets based on third-party reviews, much like ‘Trip Advisor’.