Faxes, Cheques Out As DFSI Embraces Open Data
The NSW Department of Finance, Services and Innovation (DFSI) has continued its modernisation drive, unveiling a range of reforms to improve transparency, increase efficiency and end archaic processes.
Minister for Finance, Services and Property, Dominic Perrottet said tackling inefficient legacy systems and taking advantage of the best of new technology was vital to enabling government to better serve taxpayers.
"It is 2016, and there is no excuse for government departments being stuck in the past when it comes to basic operations," he said. "To better respond to the needs of our citizens, we need to be flexible, agile and put progressive work practices in place."
As part of the reforms, a revamped Budget Visualisation Tool (BVT) has been released, displaying DFSI Budget data in a user friendly visual format. The BVT breaks down core business expenses and capital expenditure for DFSI agencies, including Office of State Revenue, NSW Fair Trading, Service NSW and Property NSW.
Minister Perrottet said the tool – first introduced last year – improves transparency by putting complex Budget data into an easy-to-read format, empowering voters to better track government finances.
"Trawling through the Budget papers can feel like a bit like reading the phone book – finding the information you want takes time," Mr Perrottet said. "With this tool you can easily see how DFSI’s Budget has been allocated with just a few mouse clicks, which means a better understanding of government finances, and a more accountable government," he said.
"Rather than being trapped in a PDF, the information is also available in an open format for developers to use as they see fit, on Data.NSW.gov.au
"This is just the start of our Open Data agenda. I want DFSI to be an exemplar for other departments and encourage them to also make budget data easy to view, access and use."
In a bid to speed up payments to suppliers and reduce postage and handling costs, cheques will soon go the way of the dinosaurs, with DFSI cheque payments already down from 15,000 per month to fewer than 1,000. Meanwhile annual savings of up to $200,000 are expected flow from the elimination of 494 fax lines in the last year.
New technology is also delivering a smarter, more cost-effective work practices, with DFSI staff able to use the latest in ride-sharing and car-sharing services for work-related travel, as part of a push to save taxpayer funds on Government travel and fleet costs.
To view the DFSI interactive Budget Visualisation Tool, click here.