Vic gov puts $115m towards digital services

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Vic gov puts $115m towards digital services

Budget reveals 20 services planned this year.

The Victorian government has set aside just under $115 million in this year’s budget to move services online, continuing a significant reform agenda driven by the pandemic.

Budget documents handed down on Tuesday show $99.8 million from the package will be used by Service Victoria to deliver “new channels for simple and fast interactions with government”.

The funding, to be provided over the next two years, builds on the $66.9 million provided to the service delivery agency in last year’s budget, and $40.5 million in 2020-21.

Service Victoria, which sits in the Department of Premier and Cabinet’s (DPC) Digital Victoria unit, will use the funding to deliver 20 new services in 2022-23, with further services expected in 2023-24.

The government said the new services would make it “easier for [individuals and businesses] to get licences and permits and receive government payments”.

One citizen-facing service detailed by government service minister Danny Pearson is a new ‘savings finder’, likely modelled on Service NSW's savings finder.

The savings finder has been designed to help Victorians identify “government discounts, subsidies and other savings” through the Service Victoria app – Australia’s most downloaded app last year.

Businesses, meanwhile, will be able to renewed their liquor licences online, while more local council approvals and permits will also be added to the platform.

In additon to the funding for Services Victoria, the Department of Justice and Community Safety will also receive $8.7 million to scope and develop a proof-of-concept to deliver front-end Births, Deaths and Marriages services through Service Victoria.

A further $5 million will be used to improve hiw digital information is used, including through the early intervention investment framework (EIIF), a program aimed at support “those who need it most when using government services”.

Digital health, education

Elsewhere in the budget, the Department of Health will receive $34 million in 2022-23 to “strengthen cyber security measures for Victorian public health services and Ambulance Victoria”.

The funding “includes support for next-generation anti-virus protections, a security operations centre and a recovery service in the event of a successful cyber attack”, budget documents state.

The funding will also be used to “upgrade the network infrastructure needed to support and deliver patient-related services such as pathology, diagnostic imaging and patient management systems”.

A further $64.8 million over four years will be used to create a “contemporary mental health information infrastructure, including an “electronic statewide mental health and wellbeing record”.

The government has also set aside $103.8 million over four years to “upgrade software tools” across  schools to deliver improved capabilities for students, school staff and administrators”.

“This will reduce administrative burden and improve resources for digital learning,” budget documents state without expanding.

The Department of Education and Training will also receive $31.5 million to “continue to support a suite of centrally procured educational software for government schools”.

A further $3.7 million will be provided to implement an IT asset discovery system, security management plan and advanced event monitoring capability to alert schools to cyber incidents.

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