Service Victoria has received $81 million to spend on Whole-of-Government (WofG) service delivery over the next twelve months. The 2016-17 Victorian budget, handed down by Treasurer Tim Pallas on Wednesday 27 April, also commits to mobile police technology and land management systems upgrades.
The second budget from the Andrews Government since assuming office in December 2014 has seen the state’s operating surplus increase to $2.9 billion in 2016-17, or more than $9 billion over four years — an improvement on its $1.2 billion surplus in the 2015-16 budget.
“Having predicted last year that we would grow by 2.5 per cent, we are now expecting growth to increase to 3 per cent both this year and next,” Pallas said in his speech.
“Reflecting a stronger revenue position, the Government has taken the decision to modestly increase expenditure.”
For the second year in a row, the Victorian budget has funded the Department of Premier and Cabinet (DPC) for the development of Service Victoria.
The Whole-of-Government (WofG) digital shopfront has received $81.1 million in 2016-17 for the next phase of implementation, including new systems and digital platforms to help citizens navigate 538 different websites and hundreds of telephony hotlines.
“Service Victoria will modernise the delivery of the highest volume government transactions, such as car registration, to ensure that members of the community can more easily access these services,” Special Minister of State Gavin Jennings said in a statement.
Intermedium revealed in August that both Service NSW and the federal government’s Digital Transformation Office (DTO) were being consulted by the DPC, after $15 million was provided in the 2015-16 budget to begin planning and development.
Following renewed calls for a trial of body-worn video (BWV) cameras in the Royal Commission into Family Violence, major technology upgrades have featured as part of a $539.8 million Public Safety – Police Response initiative over four years.
In addition to new BWV cameras and mobile technology, the initiative will also see funding for 458 new police officers and specialist personnel, as well as expanded forensic capabilities. Of the funding, $149.1 million has been allocated as asset funding.
Victoria is the only state not to have signed contracts with suppliers of BWV or initiated the market process, despite conducting two previous trials over the last four years.
Justice will also receive $38.4 million towards its Infringement Management and Enforcement Service (IMES) project, which is expected to be completed during 2017-18.
The Courts will receive $4 million over four years to modernise the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal with “a number of digital and other service enhancements.” An additional $1 million has also been allocated to the Courts in 2016-17 to begin planning for the development of new integrated case management systems in the Children’s, Magistrates’ and County Courts, addressing “critical information gaps between courts and other justice agencies.”
After no specific ICT funding initiatives in the 2015-16 budget, the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning has been allocated funding to modernise key systems between 2016-17 and 2019-20.
$74.9 million will be allocated over four years towards the overhaul of Land Victoria’s land titles and search system and digitisation of existing property records, while a further $12.8 million will be assigned to Victoria’s water information systems to support water programs in 2016-17.
The Smart Planning Program will also see $6.8 million allocated over two year to modernising Victoria’s planning system, including creating an integrated digital platform and enabling online lodgment.
The Department of Health and Human Services will receive $29.5 million over four years for a centralised real-time prescription monitoring system.
The system will be used at 1900 GP clinics, 1300 pharmacies and 200 hospitals across the state to do “…on-the-spot check[s] before prescribing or dispensing medicines that are at high risk of misuse,” a pre-budget statement by Minister for Health Jill Hennessy and Minister for Mental Health Martin Foley prior said.
Along with the rollout of the monitoring software, the funding will also provide training and support for clinicians and additional counselling and addiction treatment services.
A further $10 million will be allocated to the department in 2016-17 for the Clinical Services Technology Refresh Program, which will see critical, patient related clinical services hardware and integrated software in public health services replaced.
$5 million over two years will fund the planning and development of an Electronic Medical Records system at Melbourne Health and the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre.
Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources
$12 million will be allocated to the Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources for the upgrade of VicRoads’ registration systems and processes over two years, less than six months after VicRoads indicated a change of strategic and operational direction. This will include incorporating customer service and payment improvements.
$4.9 million has also been allocated over two years for upgrades of specialist equipment and IT systems to improve detection, diagnosis and analysis of biosecurity hazards.
Other ICT initiatives:
$6.5 million has been allocated to the Department of Premier and Cabinet to relocate the Ombudsman’s office over two years. The funding will cover the procurement of ICT, as well as fit-out of the new location, security infrastructure and additional lease costs.