NSW wants to appoint a 'data broker' to drive reform

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NSW wants to appoint a 'data broker' to drive reform

Agency execs reveal what's top of their data wish-list.

The NSW Government is looking to appoint a whole-of-government ‘data broker’ to drive the use and exchange of public sector information across the state, Finance and Services Minister Dominic Perrottet revealed today.

“I want NSW to lead the region in data science,” he told a 300-strong crowd gathered for an AIIA run update on state IT policy.

“We are examining options for a data broker to unlock the value of our data by looking across departments. This could offer a us new tools for evidence based policy decisions.”

He said industry should expect to hear “plenty more” about the state government’s data drive in the lead up to the March election.

It is not yet known exactly how a ‘data broker’ would operate. Earlier NSW invited a consulting company to act as a central advice hub for telecommunications procurement, which it called a ‘telecommunications broker’.

At the agency level, NSW CIOs and executives pointed to name and address data, criminal risk indicators and a central SME database as the kinds of tools they would like to get their hands on.

Service NSW chief and former banker Mike Pratt said he was lobbying Perrottet and Premier Mike Baird to have real-time performance dashboards - like the ones used by Service NSW executives - installed in their offices.

“When they get in each morning, they would be able to see hospital wait times, transport running times etcetera all updated in real time, structured around a simple traffic light system,” he said.

Another quick win would be the establishment of a central, pre-validated database of all SMEs selling to government, a job currently duplicated many times over in agencies today so they can meet the government's 30 day invoice payment policy for small businesses.

Over in the justice department, police and justice CIO Aaron Liu said he and his colleagues want to share information between silos to track an individual’s progression through the judicial system.

“Police arrest someone, the courts convict them, and then corrections lock them up,” he explained. “But traditionally the courts have not had to care too much about the person's identity so that chain of custody gets broken in terms of data quality and the accuracy of that information. One of the things we are working on within justice is trying to take a more holistic view.”

He added that risk indicators out of education and health, like truancy, could be paired with demographic stats to “divert people from the justice system”.

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