The Tasmanian government has made good on its election pledge to develop a online services portal for Service Tasmania, earmarking $4.3 million in its 2021 budget this week.
Budget documents released on Thursday show the funding will be used to kick-start the development of a new “one-stop Service Tasmania digital service platform”.
Funding will be provided over four years, with the majority falling over the forward estimates in the 2023-24 and 2024-25 financial years.
The platform was the centrepiece digital pledge by the Gutwein Liberal government in the lead up to the May election.
Science and technology minister Michael Ferguson on Thursday said the platform will “offer a centralised and seamless digital portal, accessed through a single and secure login”.
“When complete, the service will features an accessible and user-friendly interface, and offer anywhere, anytime, any device access to government services,” he said.
While Ferguson stressed that face-to-face assistance through Service Tasmania shopfronts would continue, he said there is increasing expectation for online access to services.
“Over time, the… platform will grow to encompass a broad array of services, including digital licensing and, potentially, integration with Commonwealth Government services,” he said.
Initial work on the platform will be funded from the digital transformation priority expenditure program, a multi-year program of work that began following the 2017-18 budget.
In 2021-22, the program will receive a total of $23.9 million, which will also be spent on several other projects, including the state’s digital health transformation first revealed last year.
Digital health transformation
The transformation has been allocated $15 million this year, including $5 million from the digital fund, to “commence progressing key focus areas of a 10-year digital health transformation plan”.
“The plan… will be the first time that Tasmania has had a strategic document setting the government’s long-term vision for digital technology across the health system,” budget document state.
“This funding is in addition to digital funding announced in the 2020-21 budget of $23.1 million that included an allocation to modernise the department’s human resource systems across the state.”
Stage three of the Department of Justice’s ‘justice connect’ program has also scored $6 million in funding over the next two years through the digital transformation priority expenditure program.
The project will involve replacing the current case management systems used by the courts with a “more contemporary integrated system that will support the… needs of a combined Single Tribunal”.
Last year, the government selected a consortium led by Fujitsu to overhaul of Tasmania’s legacy criminal information management systems under an earlier phase of the justice connect program.
“The IT solution, ‘Astria’ will enhance efficiencies and improve policy outcomes through better information sharing, access to timely and trusted information and integration across government with relevant critical ICT systems,” documents state.
“The minimum viable product phase of the program was successfully completed in March 2021, with work now proceeding on the solution as a whole.”
The government has also earmarked $270,000 for a new traveller management solution that is expected to replace the two existing systems, including the G2G pass system shared with WA.
“The project’s objective is to create a single cloud-based system capable of managing incoming travellers to Tasmania across their life cycle, from application, arrival and management requirements afterwards,” budget documents state.
“This will replace two existing systems being used for this purpose, namely the G2G pass system and the Tas e-Travel system.”
Total ICT investment in 2021-22 is expected to come in at $36.7 million, representing 4.4 percent of all infrastructure expenditure.