The NSW Government is leading on digital - here’s why
Written by Victor Dominello, NSW Minister for Finance, Services and Property
For the past three years, Intermedium has ranked the NSW Government a national leader in delivering digital services and e-government initiatives. This is a significant accomplishment in a world where citizens expect smart, simple and seamless public services.
Underpinning NSW’s digital leadership is a strategic approach to transform into a digital, data-driven and agile public service that puts the customer at the centre of service delivery and design.
The NSW Digital Government Strategy, released in May 2017, defined this vision. On track to meet its state priority of delivering 70 per cent of government services through digital channels by 2019, the strategy sets the scene for an unprecedented digital transformation agenda.
For the first time, the NSW Government’s digital transformation is on display publicly on a project-by-project basis through digital.nsw. A quick glance shows 147 digital transformation initiatives currently in-flight, ranging from a small-scale project of $15,000 to major investments of hundreds of millions.
One project showcased is the government’s new dMarketplace, a platform set to optimise the sharing and use of data across government and to enable citizens to access and use data more effectively. A demonstration of the government’s commitment to open data, the dMarketplace is on track for public launch this year.
There are numerous additional examples of the power of data to deliver great outcomes for the public. For the first time, citizens can access raw rental bond data for new insights into the property market. At the same time, the ACCC estimates Sydney motorists could save between $85 million and $141 million at the bowser each year using the FuelCheck app, which provides real-time information about fuel prices at service stations across NSW.
For people looking to dig a little deeper, the Sharing and Enabling Environmental Data (SEED) platform provides a central place for finding environmental data, while the Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research’s (BOCSAR’s) Crime Mapping Tool provides open access to accurate and detailed crime information.
Data is also powering innovation. Transport for NSW’s recent hackathon, CongestionHack, challenged participants to find ways to ease congestion on roads and transport networks, with a pool of $14,000 available to assist with the development of the best ideas. Similar programs have already led to the successful development of apps including the Learner Driver Digital Logbook, public transport real-time apps and specialist apps for customers with accessibility needs.
While data is essential to a successful digital ecosystem, a priority for customers is having access to joined-up government services with one point of contact. Enter Service NSW.
Service NSW now manages 1,000 transactions from across 40 partner agencies, with customer satisfaction at an impressive 97 per cent. Customers can connect with the NSW Government quickly and securely online using the MyServiceNSW Account to access an increasing number of features and services.
On the ground, Service NSW is transforming the way NSW citizens interact with government through digital licensing, providing customers with a simple, easy-to-use and convenient alternative to having a physical licence for things like recreational fishing and Responsible Service of Alcohol. The next cab off the rank will be the Digital Driver Licence, currently being trialled in Dubbo.
In other areas, digitisation is supporting the small business sector by simplifying government licensing and approvals through Easy to do Business. It’s helping people apply for housing assistance and make changes to their applications quickly and easily through MyHousing Applications Online. And it’s replacing paper-based systems for development applications and accelerating online housing approvals through the NSW Planning Portal. In health, it’s optimising electronic medical records to ensure patient data is accurate and accessible, irrespective of which NSW Health service people attend.
The Government has also started rolling out electronic conveyancing (eConveyancing), saving home buyers and businesses time and money when engaging in property transactions. eConveyancing is a more efficient, accurate and secure way of conducting the settlement and lodgment stages of a conveyancing transaction.
Of course, the increased digitisation of services demands state-of-the-art cyber security, so the NSW Government has announced a $2 million investment in a new university-led NSW Cyber Security Network aimed at protecting government, industry and individuals against cyberattacks.
Late last year, the NSW Government secured international telecommunications company British Telecommunications’ first global cybersecurity research and development facility outside the United Kingdom for North Sydney, and announced an $11.4 million agreement with Australia’s leading data innovation group Data61, to help tackle technology challenges including cyber security.
It’s an exciting time to be working in the government and technology sectors in NSW, with never-before-seen collaboration delivering the digital, connected and secure environment of tomorrow. At the same time, citizens can look forward to spending less time searching for information and making essential transactions – it’s easy to see the value in that.
For more information about the NSW Government’s digital transformation, visit digital.nsw.
Pictured: Victor Dominello, NSW Minister for Finance, Services and Property