The final update to the New South Wales Government ICT Strategy was announced at an event yesterday, after passing the NSW Parliament last week. The efforts of this strategy hopes to usher in an era of forward thinking for the state while the whole of Australia is making great leaps in digital transformation.
“Over the past four years, the government has pursued essential ICT reforms that have helped to provide better public services and value for citizens,” Victor Dominello, Minister for Innovation and Better Regulation, NSW, stated yesterday while he released Digital+ 2016, the final update to the NSW Government ICT Strategy.
“The government is committed to a new approach that goes beyond the ICT Strategy and drives innovation across all areas of government policy. Consultation on a whole-of-government innovation policy will commence in early 2016.”
Data Sharing and Data Analytics
The Digital+ 2016 strategy emphasises the benefits of government-wide data sharing and data analytics.
Previously, NSW has not had mandated sharing of data across government departments. What is commonly known as the siloed approach, systems working separately in isolation from one another, is soon to change in NSW. Minister Dominello urges for this behaviour to change, so as to improve the government service delivery to citizens.
He told the audience, "Government cannot continue to operate in this way. Government must be more agile, faster and smarter in the way it operates to meet the requirements of the people of New South Wales in the 21st century. It must harness data assets to deliver better outcomes for the community."
To address this, NSW will develop data sharing guidelines by the second quarter of 2016. A standard cross-agency data quality reporting is set to be implemented by the last quarter of 2018.
One of the key features of this ICT Strategy is the formation of the NSW Data Analytics Centre (DAC), announced back in August. The DAC will ‘identify problems or challenges facing the NSW Government in collaboration with agencies, collect and analyse cross cluster or whole of government data to better understand problems, challenges and opportunities, drive better practice in data sharing and analytics’.
This will drive the ICT innovation agenda across the public sector by working with universities, industry, and the non-profit sector. DAC will be honing in on the issues afflicting society and create better use of data analytics in policy design.
Digital Government Advisory Panel
Minister Dominello also announced that a new Digital Government Advisory Panel will advise on how the government will approach future ICT reform. The advisory panel is comprised of a group of industry experts who can speak on the ICT local and international landscape.
The Implementation Plan lays out which pieces of the Digital+ 2016 will be carried out in each quarter until the end of 2018. By the first quarter of 2016, more than half of the plans will already be in motion.
“We must reimagine the role of government in the digital age and as we move into a new phase of digital government, we will engage with industry, the research sector and the broader community to ensure NSW continues to be a leader in this field,” Minister Dominello stated.