SA budget pours $120 million into state's 'digital restart'

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SA budget pours $120 million into state's 'digital restart'

Sets aside $24 million for agile works.

The South Australian government has established a $120 million 'Digital Restart Fund' that will bankroll a series of IT projects across government over the next four years.

The funding, revealed in the state’s 2020 budget on Tuesday, will be used to improve the digital standing of departments, with a portion of the investment available to be drawn upon as required.

The government said the funding will be “invested in projects for South Australia that support an improved digital experience and access to information to business and individual”.

Just over $24 million has not been allocated to specific IT projects, and is available to agencies for projects “that can be undertaken in a timely manner and support improved digital services”.

The Department of Innovation and Skills will receive $14.8 million over five years to undertake “a full upgrade” of its information systems.

The upgrade is expected to improve the department’s “service delivery, data management and productivity”, as well as transform its way of working with a “digital by default operating policy”.

The fund will also provide the Attorney-General’s Department with $14.2 million over two years to upgrade the audio-visual link capability across the justice sector in response to the pandemic.

This includes the Courts Administration Authority, Department for Correctional Services and South Australia Police.

The AV improvements will “support the justice sector by providing greater AV link capability and reliability … and assisting with remote access to justice”, according to budget documents.

The Department of Premier and Cabinet will receive $13.4 million over two years to “develop and transition a range of government services onto a new single entry point”.

Dubbed the ‘South Australian Government Online Services Portal’ (SAGOV), the “common entry point” will be used by both individuals and businesses to reduce “duplication of effort for users”.

The government said it would also “create a platform for future acceleration of the transition to digital service across government”.

The Department for Energy and Mining will receive $5 million over two years to modernise its customer facing system and integrate them onto the new SAGOV portal.

Other initiatives covered by the fund include:

  • $8 million for the Attorney-General’s Department to update and replace its consumer and business services systems
  • $7 million for the Department of Infrastructure and Transport to enhance the public transport ticketing system to accept debit and credit cards
  • $6 million to develop a contemporary transport demand modelling and forecast process using advanced analytics
  • $5 million for the Department of Environment and Water to modernise the state’s geographic data (GeoData) repository
  • $3.7 million for the Department of Premier and Cabinet’s Office for Cyber Security to continue to protect government IT systems from cyber attack over the next four years
  • $3.7 million for the Electoral Commission to introduce electronic roll mark-off in polling and pre-polling booths, and to improve its online services
  • $3.3 million for the Attorney-General’s Department to convert the Births, Deaths and Marriages records to electronic records
  • $3 million for the Public Trustee to replace its ageing and unsupported customer relationship management system
  • $1.6 million for the Department of Education to upgrade cabling in every government preschool to build on the wider Schools With internet Fibre Technology (SWiFT) project
  • $1.2 million for the Department of Innovation and Skills to expand the Australian Cyber Collaboration Centre (A3C), which launched in July
  • $1 million for the Environment Protection Authority to design and develop a new environmental incident reporting system to replace its current ageing system
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