South Australia’s 2014-15 Budget contains a record amount of funding for mobile application development, part of the Government’s aim to be ‘Digital by Default’.
South Australia Police has been the biggest beneficiary of the funding, receiving allocations for two different app developments.
The first project, a Crime Tracking App, is the most expensive of the five apps funded in the Budget.
The Budget Papers described the initiative as the development of “a new app for victims to track the investigation and progress of reported crimes.”
The app has been allocated $1 million in capital funding over the next two years and ongoing indexed operating funding to the tune of $260,000 per annum to administer the application and support the provision of information to victims.
The Government has also allocated South Australia Police an additional $113,000 over the forward estimates for the development of a new mobile phone app to report suspicious criminal behavior.
South Australia’s Attorney General’s Department has also been a recipient of app funding in the Budget. The Department has been allocated $272,000 to conduct council trials of a mobile phone app to report graffiti and property damage.
The History Trust of South Australia, an associated entity of the Department of State Development, has received $100,000 per annum for the ongoing development and maintenance of the Adelaidia app.
It is envisaged that, once operational, the app will “inform tourists, researchers and historians about the city’s social culture and background.”
Finally, the Environmental Protection Agency has been allocated $100,000 in 2014-15 for the establishment of a ‘dob-in-a-litterer’ app, allowing users to submit photos of suspected litterers to the agency.
According to the Budget Papers, the app will be developed with the aid of Zero Waste SA.
The funding for app development follows South Australia revealing its intention to be ‘digital by default’ in its November 2013 ICT Strategy ‘SA Connected’.
“The evidence is clear – our customers prefer online services, and increasingly, mobile‑ready services. Introducing new services, improving old services – whenever possible, our approach will be ‘digital by default’”, says the Strategy.
The Strategy identified the creation of a Mobile Application for the SA Tenders and Contracts Website as a priority initiative. The app was made available for public use in February 2014, according to the SA Tenders Website.
The Government has also been harnessing open data to allow developers to create apps for the public.
Adelaide Metro released real-time GPS data as part of the strategy, allowing commercial developers to create smartphone apps for commuters, who in turn were then able to view the data.
The Unleashed Application Development Competition, part of South Australia’s Action Plan to Advance Open Data, is now in its second year with over 460 data sets available to participants.