News

Promoting open and accountable government

28 September 2016

Since open government was identified as a priority in the 2012 NSW Government ICT Strategy, agencies have become more transparent, collaborative, participatory and innovative in the way they conduct their business. By 2014, the amount of information the NSW government published online had more than doubled, and customer satisfaction surveys conducted more frequently across the sector.

The 2014/15 ICT Metrics Report shows that the NSW Government is now more open, citizen focused and collaborative:

More open

  • There are 55,000 datasets available on Data.NSW through 348 data collections.

More citizen focused

  • In 2014/15, Service NSW received a consistent customer satisfaction rate of 98% while 33% more agencies conducted monthly or bi-annual customer satisfaction surveys than previous years.

More collaborative

  • 93% of NSW Government agencies now have social media policies in place. Social media accounts grew 46% to 1,759 accounts. The strongest growth was seen in Facebook accounts and Twitter accounts in support of government engaging more directly with citizens.
  • Online submissions received from the public increased 61% from 8,696 to 13,955.

The objective of open government initiatives is to increase awareness and satisfaction with government services, improve accountability and build trust. Previously, agencies published selected case studies of best practice to demonstrate commitment to the open government principles of transparency, participation, collaboration and innovation. This year, agencies have published their Open Government Plans to directly report on progress to implement these principles and showcase current initiatives.

NSW Government the first to collaborate with the DTO’s new Digital Marketplace

14 September 2016

In an Australian first, NSW will become the first state to collaborate with the Commonwealth Government’s Digital Marketplace, Mr Martin Hoffman, Secretary of the Department of Finance Services and Innovation announced today. 

The Digital Marketplace is an initiative of the Digital Transformation Office, established in 2015 to make it easy to work with government by creating public services that are simple, clearer and faster for everyone.

The Digital Marketplace will make it easier for small businesses to compete for the Government’s ICT contracts, valued at $5 billion a year. The initial focus is on providing access to the government’s digital business requirements.

NSW Government agencies will use the Marketplace to identify digital specialists for services such as web performance analysis, user-experience design and digital transformation advisory services.

Mr. Martin Hoffman explained, “NSW is home to more than 60 per cent of all start-ups in the country.  It is entirely appropriate that we be the first state in the country to embrace the Digital Marketplace.” 

Head of Digital Marketplace, Catherine Thompson said the Digital Marketplace provides a user-friendly environment for digital technology procurement, enabling businesses to provide specialist digital services to Government.

“In particular, this exciting initiative will benefit small businesses and start-ups and allow them to compete for Government contracts alongside larger, more established companies.”

The Digital Marketplace will allow business and Government to work together in a creative, flexible and innovative way. The use of the Digital Marketplace is fully compliant with the NSW Government’s procurement policies.

The initiative is part of the NSW Government’s commitment to embrace the use of digital technologies, making it easier to do business in NSW. 

Real-Time Fuel Price Website to Empower Motorists

24 August 2016

The NSW Government today launched FuelCheck, an innovative website publishing live fuel prices in real-time. 

Minister for Innovation and Better Regulation Victor Dominello said FuelCheck provides accurate, reliable, real-time information about fuel prices at every service station across NSW, and motorists can search for the best deal by location, price, fuel type or brand. 

“Making petrol price information publicly available online is a game changer – it enables motorists to identify where the cheapest fuel is before they commence their journey,” he said.

“FuelCheck is the first of its kind in Australia and will deliver a better deal for motorists by boosting competition and transparency in the fuel sector.”

We already have laws that dictate how service stations can display petrol prices on their roadside signboard. We are simply extending this obligation to say that when you change your prices on the forecourt, you also need to report them online.   

If the price at the pump does not match what is shown on FuelCheck, consumers can make a complaint directly to NSW Fair Trading.

FuelCheck is currently in Beta version, and consumers are encouraged to provide feedback about the accuracy and functionality of the website to NSW Fair Trading.

The raw data is available for use by the community so that third party services can create their own apps and services, in accordance with the NSW Government’s commitment to open data. 

FuelCheck is accessible on any device connected to the internet, including smartphones, tablets, desktop computers and laptops at www.fuelcheck.nsw.gov.au.

Budget To Support The State's Digital Transformation

21 June 2016

Whole-of-government data analytics projects that harness the power of data to tackle difficult social challenges will receive increased funding in the 2016-17 NSW Budget.

The NSW Data Analytics Centre (DAC) has received $17 million over four years to continue its work in providing data driven insights to help inform policymaking.

“In a world rich with data, the DAC can diagnose the problems confronting many in Government and allow agencies to provide the solutions,” Minister for Innovation and Better Regulation Victor Dominello said.

Ten data analytics projects have already commenced including analysing the call out rate by NSW Fire and Rescue and the number of false alarms they attend; understanding commuter needs in off-peak hour travel time; identifying buildings at risk from non-compliant cladding; and identifying property overcrowding.

The 2016-17 NSW Budget also includes:

  • $418 million to regulate the function of workers compensation insurance, motor accidents compulsory third party insurance and home building compensation
  • $241 million in 2016-17 to provide shared corporate support and services to a number of Government agencies, including procurement, ICT, human resources, finance and business services- including via private providers in order to obtain higher service quality at lower cost
  • $124 million to enforce fair trading laws, administer licensing regimes, provide community grant assistance, and undertake regulatory reform and offer information and assistance to consumers and traders
  • $69 million in 2016-17 to drive whole of government strategies to achieve better value service delivery from ICT across government

New Chief to Drive NSW Digital Agenda

17 May 2016

The NSW Government’s pace-setting digital agenda is set to shift up a gear, with the appointment of Damon Rees to the newly created Government Chief Information & Digital Officer (GCIDO) role.

Minister for Finance, Services and Property Dominic Perrottet and Minister for Innovation and Better Regulation Victor Dominello announced the appointment today.

Mr Rees was previously at Macquarie Bank, where he was the Chief Digital Officer, having earlier served as the Chief Technology Officer and interim Chief Information Officer at Woolworths, and as Westpac’s Head of Integrated Delivery.

Mr Perrottet said the appointment bolsters the NSW Government’s position as a nation-leader in digital service delivery, describing Mr Rees as an outstanding candidate.

“As a Government we are determined to keep building our digital capability, because ultimately that results in better services for the people of NSW,” Mr Perrottet said.

“Damon comes with an exceptional track record in the business world, so it’s exciting to have someone of his calibre to drive the Government’s digital agenda,” he said.

The GCIDO will be the senior technology role within NSW Government, reporting to the Secretary of the Department of Finance, Services and Innovation. Individual agencies will retain Chief Information Officers but all major ICT projects across government departments will require approval and oversight by the GCIDO.

As GCIDO, Mr Rees will advocate for digital adoption across the NSW public sector, defining the long-term vision for ICT and digital technologies, implementing the NSW Open Data Policy and improving integration across Government agencies.

The role will also entail oversight of major government ICT projects, ensuring they are delivered on time, on budget, and deliver benefits for agencies and citizens.

Mr Dominello said Mr Rees’ whole-of-government oversight would ensure better integration across departments and agencies, and better outcomes for NSW taxpayers.

 “The GCIDO will be responsible for enforcing high standards of financial discipline on large-scale ICT projects across government. Damon will also play a critical role in accelerating the digitisation of government services,” he said.

Mr Rees will commence in the GCIDO role from 30 May.

2016 NSW Government Open Data Policy and Action Plan

26 April 2016

Making more government data openly available for reuse is a key initiative of the NSW Government ICT Strategy. Open Data drives the NSW digital economy and provides a platform for innovation and evidence-based policy to improve government services. The NSW Government has achieved a lot in Open Data since the launch of the first policy in 2013, which set the foundation and priorities for the initiative. NSW Open Data Policy has contributed to delivering significant improvements in human services, the environment, good government, road safety, and outcomes for vulnerable populations.

The development of new applications using real time transport data, the NSW Globe and dedicated apps like Pocket Ecologist are examples of how data can transform the way government fosters collaboration with citizens industry and changes how the public makes use of data. Data.NSW.gov.au is central access point for government datasets.

The NSW Government, through its Open Data Policy, is making data available in a way that can be safely used by industry, researchers and the community.

Drawing on experience and ideas from government, industry, research and the community the 2016 policy builds on the internationally recognised principles of open data. The Policy translates the principles into agency obligations for supporting responsible data management and sharing. The Policy is supported by an action plan with projects to accelerate the release and reuse of open data.

NSW Government has appointed the NSW Information Commissioner as the new Open Data Advocate, who will play a key role the successful implementation the new policy. 

Open Data Policy Review

13 January 2016

Making more government data openly available for reuse is a key initiative of the NSW Government ICT Strategy. Open Data drives the NSW digital economy and provides a platform for innovation and evidence-based policy to improve government services.

The NSW Government has already achieved success in Open Data since the launch of the first policy in 2013, which set the foundation and priorities for the initiative. NSW Open Data Policy has contributed to delivering significant improvements in human services, the environment, good government, road safety, and outcomes for vulnerable populations.

The development of new applications using real time transport data, the NSW Globe and dedicated apps like Pocket Ecologist are examples of how data can transform the way government fosters collaboration with citizens industry and changes how the public makes use of data. Data.NSW.gov.au is central access point for government datasets. 

The challenge now is to embed open data into agency process and keep pace with the developing maturity of the sector - industry, government, research and the community.

Public consultation on this Policy has now closed. The revised policy and action plan were launched on Tuesday 26 April 2016.

Whole-Of-Government Data Analytics Centre A Step Closer

18 November 2015

NSW Parliament today approved the Data Sharing (Government Sector) Bill 2015 to enable data sharing across government agencies and support the functioning of the NSW Data Analytics Centre (DAC).

Minister for Innovation and Better Regulation Victor Dominello said the DAC is the first of its kind in Australia and will use whole-of-government data for strategic decision making.

“The bill gives the DAC greater teeth by enabling the Minister to, in certain circumstances, require NSW Government agencies and local councils to provide data to the DAC within 14 days,” he said.

The DAC is being developed within the Department of Finance, Services and Innovation. Work is already underway on the first of nine priority projects, to improve vocational education training courses in NSW by using data to better target the needs of business and to improve employment outcomes for job seekers.

Dr Ian Oppermann, former CSIRO Director of Digital Productivity Division, has been appointed as expert adviser to lead the development phase of the DAC.

“Dr Oppermann has over 20 years’ experience in the ICT sector holding senior management roles in Europe and Australia, and has a reputation for delivering outcomes,” Mr Dominello said.

The ongoing protection of privacy and safety of an individual’s personal information is of utmost importance to the government. The bill works within the existing privacy landscape in NSW, including the Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act for NSW agencies that collect, publish and provide access to data.

Find out more about the DAC at www.finance.nsw.gov.au/ict.

2015 Open Data ThinkTank Report Released

17 June 2015

On 30 April representatives from across Government and Industry attended the 2015 NSW Government Open Data ThinkTank. The final report is being released today which captures discussions and highlights from the event.  

The ThinkTank was opened by the Minister for Innovation and Better Regulation, the Hon. Victor Dominello MP. Speakers at the event included:

  • William Murphy, Deputy Secretary, Service Innovation and Strategy, Office of Finance & Services, who provided a perspective on new opportunities, approaches and priorities
  • Des Mooney and Dr. Steve Woodhouse, Land and Property Information spoke about Foundation Spatial Data
  • Dr. Kerry Taylor, CSIRO presented an overview of the opportunity presented by Linked Open Data for public policy
  • Matt Berger, Australian Bureau of Statistics presented work on the Australian Census Longitudinal Dataset (ACLD) as an example of confidentialisation preserving utility

A highlight from the day was a Government + Industry panel which provided a reality check on open data and judged an open data ‘myth busting’ activity.  Panelists included Fransisco Urbina, Chair, Spatial Industries Business Association NSW, John Hudson, Director ePlanning, NSW Department of Planning, Dr Jenny Donovan, General Manager, Strategic Information and Reporting, NSW Department of Education and Dr Alana Maurushat, Academic Co-director of UNSW Cyberspace Law and Policy Centre and Key Researcher, CRC Data to Decision. Teams were given one of nine commonly-held myths around open data, and were challenged to come up with evidence-based responses to effectively “bust” the myth. It was great to see all 191 participants from both Government and industry interact and ‘myth bust’ commonly held beliefs on this topic. Out of nine myths, six were ‘busted’, identifying three myths where more work was needed.

An international guest, Giulio Quaggiotto, Senior Program Manager for Innovation Skills from NESTA, joined the session from London to talk about big data for public policy.

An afternoon panel session on big data in NSW featured Prof. Mary O’Kane, NSW Chief Scientist and Engineer, and Jeremy Moon, Director Analytics, NSW Procurement, Office of Finance and Services.

Dr. Kate Harrington, Director, Information, Strategic Policy at the Office of Finance and Services closed the day highlighting the priorities for participants. The top three priorities were:

1.       value proposition for release of data

2.       partnerships between government and non-government

3.       priority release schedule for government data

Thank you to all who particpated in making this event a success.

Click here to read the report

NSW Government innovation leaders to host roundtable at CeBIT

23 April 2015

In 2014 the NSW Government established the Service Innovation and Strategy (SIS) division within the Office of Finance and Services. 

In early 2015 two new Executive Directors commenced to oversee the two main areas of SIS.

Dawn Routledge was appointed Executive Director of the Strategic Policy team which supports NSW Government reforms in ICT, procurement and construction.  Dawn was previously leading the information and open data initiatives of the NSW Government ICT Strategy. Dawn has held strategic and leadership roles in NSW Government, the private sector and overseas with particular experience in developing strategies and managing change.

Penny Webb-Smart was appointed as Executive Director of Service Reform. This new unit has been established to support the public sector to design and deliver services that provide better customer, policy and financial outcomes based on customer-centricity, digital-first and innovative service delivery models. Penny brings extensive experience in product and service development, and digital transformation, in banking, telecommunications and consulting.

Dawn and Penny will together host a roundtable at the Social Business Conference at CeBIT on Tuesday 5 May 2015. Attendees at the Conference will include CIOs, CEOs, Digital Marketing Managers, Brand Managers, Social Media Managers and others who will hear from a range of speakers about the importance of social business in shaping opinions, growing sales, recruiting talent, managing issues and reinforcing your brand. The roundtable sessions will provide an opportunity to engage with other attendees on related topics.

More information about the Social Business Conference can be found at http://www.cebit.com.au/cebit-conferences/social-business-conference/

Read more about CeBIT at http://www.cebit.com.au/