EXCLUSIVE - OpenGov recognises 8 Government organisations in Western Australia for excellence in digital transformation

The Government of Western Australia (WA) is a critical stage in its digital transformation journey. The Office of Office of the Government Chief Information Officer (OGCIO) was established in July 2015, with the mandate of 1) developing a whole-of-government ICT strategy; 2) collaborating with government agencies and industry; 3) stabilising costs and increasing value for money; and 4) minimising risk in the delivery of ICT across government.

Significant progress has been made till date. A whole-of-government ICT strategy, Digital WA, published by the OGCIO in May 2016, seeks to position “the public sector as a whole to use the opportunities provided by current and emerging technologies to deliver efficient, reliable ICT services that support exceptional public services”.

The Government’s Service Priority Review released its final report last week, setting out a blueprint for reform and cultural change in Western Australia's public sector. One of the focus areas for the review was digital transformation within the WA Government. It takes stock of advances and outlines the path ahead.

The report at the moment, only about 2.5 per cent of government services in Western Australia are available online. But says that this represents an opportunity to learn from experiences in other jurisdictions and reimagine service provision models in WA to make services conveniently accessible to the community, through a a mix of online, telephone and physical service centres.

The report recommends certain structural changes in the ICT leadership such as the transfer of policy functions associated with digital transformation, cyber security and data sharing of the OGCIO to the Department of the Premier and Cabinet (DPC). The Panel suggests that DPC should, as a priority, coordinate the development of a proactive action and response plan to address the specific cyber security risks to the State, and also that the ICT procurement function should lie within the Department of Finance (DoF).

The only constant in the journey of digital transformation is change. As the WA government embarks on the next stage of this journey, at the Western Australia OpenGov Leadership Forum on December 10, OpenGov recognised eight government agencies who have achieved excellence in using ICT, often working behind the scenes to make government smarter, more agile, more efficient and more transparent. 

This was the eighth ceremony in the OpenGov Recognition of Excellence (RoE) series 2017, with previous ceremonies held in Canberra, Melbourne and Sydney in Australia, along with Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Jakarta and Manila.

Below are the 8 agencies which were recognised by OpenGov, in no specific order:

Office of the Government Chief Information Officer

Above photo: Giles Nunis, Chief Executive & Government Chief Information Officer, ‎Office of the WA Government Chief Information Officer, receiving the RoE award from Mr. Mohit Sagar, Managing Director & Editor-In-Chief, OpenGov Asia

OpenGov recognised the OGCIO, WA for its leadership role in driving the state government’s digital transformation journey. Progress has been made since the Digital WA ICT Strategy was unveiled last year.  

The myWA Alpha site went live on 17 December 2016.  The site makes it easier for the community and businesses to find and access over 80 existing WA government services online and search across all WA government websites. It is the first step towards the longer term aim of a one stop shop of government digital services, as outlined in the State Government’s Digital WA ICT strategy.  As a prototype, the site shows some of the features that could be included in the future.  

GovNext-ICT is transitioning WA Government from being an owner and operator of ICT infrastructure towards being a consumer of commercial compute, storage and network services. In January vendors were appointed to ensure that Agencies will be able to purchase ICT infrastructure services on demand, reducing procurement costs and delays. The suppliers will each lead a consortia of local and, in some cases, national providers to provide the services to the public sector.  

The GCIO has established the GovNext Service Broker (GSB) to help agencies transition to the new arrangements. The GSB will manage the contract with the vendors, which will include pricing, performance and the delivery of new technologies for the benefit of the sector. The new buying regime is a key milestone under the GovNext-ICT program. 

City of Perth

Above photo: Robert Mianich, Director Corporate Services, City of Perth, receiving the RoE award from Mr. Mohit Sagar, Managing Director & Editor-In-Chief, OpenGov Asia

OpenGov recognised the City of Perth for the Smarter Planning Perth initiative. It is a pilot scheme involving the City of Perth, Main Roads WA, Water Corporation WA, Western Power and energy provider, ATCO Australia.  

The technology enables agencies to upload their data about future capital works onto interactive maps in the cloud. The system identifies public works projects in close proximity and notifies their project managers of the opportunity to share resources, potentially saving them time and money. The idea is to prevent duplication — such as when a road is excavated and re-laid for one set of works only to be dug up shortly after for another project. The technology could save the City of Perth millions of dollars in the future. 

Curtin University

Above photo: Ian Callahan, Chief Operating Officer, Curtin University, receiving the RoE award from Mr. Mohit Sagar, Managing Director & Editor-In-Chief, OpenGov Asia

OpenGov recognised Curtin University for successfully building a digital smart campus. Five years ago, the university had no collaborative classrooms. Now it has 76 – all video-enabled with cameras that are able to transmit in and out. It has also opened its first 180-seat classroom that is completely video conference-enabled. Curtin is using video technology to distribute one of its nursing courses to Western Australia’s remote north-west and plans are in place to extend offerings to other parts of regional WA and Internationally with Curtin’s Singapore Campus.  

Curtin Converged is a model of teaching and learning that uses a mix of traditional lectures, flipped-classes, technology enriched environments and distributed learning techniques (Massive Online Open Courses (MOOCs) and high-end video and 3-D technologies) that actively engage students whether they attend classes on campus or from another location. It provides the University a massive audience reach, eliminating the need to confine itself to people and countries in similar time-zones. Curtin already distributes learning to Miri (in Malaysia), and is active in Singapore and parts of Europe. There is a partnership with Aberdeen University in Scotland.   

Recently, an Internet-of-Things (IoT) solution was deployed in the University, which allows the University to combine video data with operational data across its campus facilities to provide analytics that support a smart campus. A single analytics dashboard provides the real-time knowledge required to make informed decisions about classes, operations and future requirements. 

Department of Fire & Emergency Services (DFES), WA

Above photo: Ricahrd Burnell, Director - Information & Communications Technology, Department of Fire & Emergency Services, at the Western Australia OpenGov Leadership Forum

OpenGov recognised Openov is recognising the Department of Fire & Emergency Services (DFES), WA, for its adoption of a new computer aided dispatch (CAD) system, which integrates critical information between agency databases, command centres and frontline officers working in the field. CAD systems are the essential information hub between public safety agencies and the general public. They include critical information from Triple Zero (000) calls, one of the first points of contact for community members before information is dispatched to first responders in the field. The systems collect and collate information that is essential to a fire and emergency worker’s daily workflow.  

The new CAD system will provide DFES with many enhanced features to enable greater visibility of its resources for better decision making and resource management. This includes mobility technology to provide instant and precise, mapping, dispatch and premise hazard information to crews working on emergency response vehicles.  

DFES now joins Western Australia Police (WAPOL) in using the same technology platform, creating more opportunities for collaboration between the state’s fire and emergency services and police for coordinated incident response in the future. 


Above photo: Jodi Cant, Chief Executive, Landgate, receiving the RoE award from Mr. Mohit Sagar, Managing Director & Editor-In-Chief, OpenGov Asia

OpenGov recognised Landgate (Landgate is the business name of the statutory authority, the Western Australian Land Information Authority) for the launch of SPUR, a location technology hub, in April 2016. 

SPUR brings together a selection of Landgate services to support businesses, start-up companies, the location industry, the education sector and government by giving them access to a range of resources and networking opportunities to foster the innovation of new location-based technologies and industries.  

The hub focuses on supporting start-ups that use location information in their businesses, although its services are available to others such as researchers and government officials as well. Start-ups can access Landgate’s data more cheaply with a special license, use a co-working space, get technological and data support from Landgate’s staff, participate in networking events, and apply for small grants from the agency.  

Companies that used maps or data from Landgate and received grants in SPUR’s first year included BuildingApprovals, which aims to develop a fully automated online building approval system and Landguide, which leverages real time location data to give a true perspective of a block of land and the surrounding location, allowing land buyers to compare features like local amenities, schools and transportation services. 

Main Roads WA

Above photo: Wayne Cannell, Manager Asset & Geospatial Information Branch, Planning and Technical Services Directorate, Main Roads WA, receiving the RoE award from Mr. Mohit Sagar, Managing Director & Editor-In-Chief, OpenGov Asia

OpenGov is recognising Main Roads WA for the launch of its improved open data portal in December 2016. The portal provides and traffic data, enabling the creation of the next generation of smart transport apps.  

Developers and data users now have access to a single, searchable portal for road and traffic information – so they can use their expertise to build innovative apps and tools for users of Perth’s transport system.  

Main Roads data is already being used by organisations including Google to support transport apps, making it easier for customers to plan their journeys and keep up-to-date with traffic conditions.  

Over time, more data and functionality will become available in the Main Roads Open Data Portal. 

State library of WA

Above photo (L-R): Damien Webb, Indigenous liaison officer at the State Library of Western Australia and Dr. Kate Gregory, Battye Historian, State Library of Western Australia, receiving the RoE award from Mr. Mohit Sagar, Managing Director & Editor-In-Chief, OpenGov Asia

OpenGov is recognising the State Library of WA for Storylines, an online image database connecting Indigenous people with their history, helping them find historic photographs of their families and communities which are held at the library.   

Many Indigenous communities live in remote or regional areas within the vast expanse of WA and the only way to reach them is to go digital. Storylines uses the software ‘Keeping Culture’ as a central database for photos. Users can search by names or places or just browse through the library’s collections. They can also search spatially on a Google map, by drawing out an area and the system will find everything that falls within that geographical space.  

There is no need for a login or a library card. It is open access and people can leave stories and comments on each item. Anyone can submit information about the images, such as the names of the people in them. The library can then verify it and update Storylines and their archives. This has helped the library identify thousands of photographs.  

WA Country Health Service

Above photo: Melissa Vernon, Chief Operating Officer, Strategy & Reform, WA Country Health Service, receiving the RoE award from Mr. Mohit Sagar, Managing Director & Editor-In-Chief, OpenGov Asia

OpenGov is recognising WA Country Health Service for trebling the number of people in country WA using telehealth for medical care over the past four years. More than 30 different outpatient specialties are available to country people via telehealth, including diabetes, respiratory illness, wound and surgical follow-up, stroke and mental health.    

There are more than 720 telehealth videoconference units in hospitals and clinics around WA, which in 2016 saved patients from travelling 1.8 million kms. Each week about 800 regional and outer-metropolitan patients receive medical care using videoconferencing – either for emergency or outpatient services. In 2015-16, there were almost 33,500 occasions of clinical service delivered by telehealth across regional WA.  There were more than 16,500 emergency treatments, more than 5,000 mental health appointments and almost 12,000 outpatient consultations.

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