NSW Govt pumps $231m into IT projects

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NSW Govt pumps $231m into IT projects

The essential laundry list of who has money to spend this financial year.

NSW Government departments and agencies have scooped at least $231 million in funds for IT projects in the next year in a budget billed to "rebuild" the state.

An analysis by iTnews revealed emergency services agencies among the big winners, securing funds for a range of new and existing IT projects.

Police IT

NSW Police won a total of $35 million to spend on IT that would help reduce crime and violence.

The agency received $12.3 million for the continued "modernisation" of the Computerised Operating Police System (COPS), its day-to-day repository of operational data. Phase one of the revamp, which included a new user interface and "extra functionality", was delivered last year.

The Force also gained $9.2 million to replace undisclosed technology assets; $9.9 million to maintain and upgrade radio network and communication infrastructure; and $7.2 million over two years to continue rolling out mobile automatic numberplate recognition technology in police vehicles.

School projects

The Department of Education was also successful in landing funds for IT projects, although the total amount was not split out in allocation figures.

Of the known projects, it landed $23 million to roll out 4300 interactive whiteboards in classrooms within 12 months.

There was also some room to "enhance IT systems" as part of a $413 million capital works fund for schools across the state.

The Digital Education Revolution - a Federal initiative that put laptops in the hands of secondary students - also continued this year. Its budget was $84 million.

Cost containment

Businesslink, the shared services agency that serviced the Department of Family and Community Services, wound up with a $65 million budget for IT systems.

It would have to use the budget to "deliver operational cost savings, lower prices for clients and align processes with the whole-of-government corporate and shared services reforms".

The agency also won $7.4 million to enhance ICT systems that supported people with disabilities.

Budget papers tasked the shared services agency with delivering "corporate and shared services reform savings by implementing new information technology and associated work processes that will standardise, consolidate and automate processes".

This meshed with broader strategies, outlined by the NSW Treasurer Michael Baird today, to continue whole-of-government reviews and achieve savings by reducing procurement costs.

Baird said the Government wanted to achieve over $1 billion in procurement savings from better buying practices and reduced use of consultants.

The costed IT winners list

  • $84 million for the Digital Education Revolution, a Federal program to provide laptops to students in years 9 to 12.
  • $65 million for Businesslink NSW for IT systems. The agency won an additional $7.4 million for systems that support people with disabilities.
  • $35 million for NSW Police to upgrade its COPS database and replace IT assets.
  • $23 million for Education NSW to roll out 4300 interactive whiteboards within 12 months.
  • $16.6 million to the Rural Fire Service to "continue upgrading" its private mobile radio network.
  • $12 million for the Department of Transport to spend on passenger information systems to improve customer communications on the rail network.
  • $9.9 million for NSW Police's radio network and communication infrastructure.
  • $8.9 million for State Emergency Service "technology applications and equipment to enhance volunteer support, flood and storm operations response and community information".
  • $7.8 million for the NSW Trustee & Guardian to upgrade client management systems and computer hardware.
  • $7.2 million over two years for NSW Police to buy another 100 mobile automatic numberplate recognition (MANPR) units.
  • $6.8 million for Attorney-General's Department to transform courts and tribunals "through greater use of technology".
  • $6 million for WorkCover NSW to upgrade existing business systems technology.
  • $5.1 million for the Audit Office of NSW to upgrade IT and its audit methodology.
  • $4.5 million for Fire & Rescue NSW to enhance and consolidate an electronic human resource management platform (SAP HR) for the emergency services sector.
  • $4.35 million to Legal Aid NSW for "capital improvements ... including updating information technology".
  • $2.7 million over four years for the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) to upgrade ICT infrastructure, software and equipment.
  • $1.9 million for the Workers' Compensation Dust Diseases Board, "mainly to buy computer equipment and software".
  • $1.6 million for the Police Integrity Commission to upgrade "key information and communications technology systems".
  • $1.6 million to develop "additional initiatives" as part of the Client Oriented Regulatory Information System within the Office of Liquor, Gaming & Racing, a project that aims to provide an integrated system for licenses, including an information database.
  • $1.2 million to upgrade the Parks and Wildlife website and online booking system.
  • $700,000 for the NSW Self Insurance Corporation to improve data governance and enhance data quality in the Treasury Managed Fund (TMF) data warehouse system.
  • $581,000 for the NSW Food Authority to develop and maintain business systems, including $209,000 for wireless internet access for field-based staff.
  • $500,000 to enhance NSW Telehealth services at Nepean Hospital.
  • $446,000 for the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions to spend "on major works to implement an integrated performance management system".
  • $219,000 for the the Ombudsman's Office "mainly to update its IT equipment".
  • $200,000 for the NSW Self Insurance Corporation to improve disaster recovery plans and procedures for its IT system.
  • $70,000 for the Casino, Liquor and Gaming Control Authority to replace office equipment and computer software.
  • $20,000 for the Office of Transport Safety Investigations for "new computer hardware and software to aid investigations and support an evidence management system".

Uncosted IT winners

  • The Department of Finance and Services won funding to extend the Government Licensing Service, which consolidated 81 license types in the state. The department is also expected to consolidate its data centre footprint, although no details were provided.
  • The Office of State Revenue won money to expand self-service options and channels for fines and to implement the RECOUPS tax software system as part of a core upgrade project.
  • Land and Property Information won funding to continue digitising paper records.

Slabs that include IT spend

  • $413 million to Education NSW, a slice of which can be allocated to IT systems.
  • $1082 million for NSW Health's capital works program, including funds for e-health projects and the statewide electronic medication management program.
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