Meet the state government finalists in the 2022 iTnews Benchmark Awards

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Energy management, vaccination administration and a common data layer for healthcare.

Public health administration and carbon emissions reduction were the goals of the three projects announced today as finalists in the state government category of the iTnews Benchmark Awards.

The three iTnews Benchmark Awards state government finalists are:

  • SA Water’s “energy management for a zero cost energy future” project
  • eHealth NSW’s vaccination administration management solution
  • Victorian Department of Health’s common data layer

SA Water’s “energy management for a zero cost energy future” project

This $300 million project aimed to sustainably reduce operational expenditure on energy costs and strengthen resilience to energy market volatility, while reducing carbon emissions. 

It has already removed over 89,000 tons of emissions and is generating over $50 million in savings, according to the senior manager of SA Water’s zero cost energy future program, Nicola Murphy. 

The project involved the installation of 367,000 panels across 35 of SA Water’s sites and the development of a bespoke energy management system (EMS) that integrates energy generation and storage assets with existing infrastructure.

It brings together real-time information on the current energy market, water and wastewater system status, short-term forecasts of energy market prices, weather forecasts, solar PV generation and customer demand for water, to determine optimum operational decisions.

This is an Australian first for the water utility sector and is the catalyst for allowing SA Water to deliver the goal of net zero carbon emissions by 2040.

“As we developed the program, we could see that there's not only a financial benefit, there's also this huge environmental benefit. It's one of those triple bottom line outcomes where we've got good climate, financial, good social outcomes,” Murphy said.

eHealth NSW’s vaccination administration management solution

eHealth NSW deployed a state-wide vaccination management and administration digital solution – a feat of cross department collaboration and data integration.

The cloud-based solution was launched in February 2021 for the first wave of vaccinations and in six months was used to schedule 1.66 million vaccinations and support 83 clinics across 13 local area health districts.

eHealth NSW director for the vaccination and administration solution, Gary Rubie said, “we basically built a solution to vaccinate the public from the ground up. We built it from scratch. And whilst we made use of some building blocks and took an agile development approach, we designed and developed a solution end to end and integrated it with so many different components that enabled that to be built out at scale.”

Victorian Department of Health’s Common Data Layer

At the Victorian Department of Health, chief data officer David Stephens and former chief information officer Steve Hodgkinson delivered a common data layer network that enabled multi-agency access to data.

“The organisation treats and views data in a different way to what it did two years ago and actually proved just how core it is to the way in which the department operates. It does show the way in which data can be used in such a powerful way to deliver public health or public health outcomes, supported by evidence,” Stephens said.

The project was in development before 2020, but work accelerated in response to the pandemic. The department anticipated extremely high demand for data to be delivered to end users and analysts in a faster, simpler and more productive way.

“It basically put the whole project on steroids and we travelled about two years in three months. It was, the opportunity to actually show how can and data be used to deliver real, significant on the ground improvements in service delivery in ways we wouldn't see normally,” Stephens added.

Watch the mini-documentary series

We thank every organisation that entered the state government award category – it was a tightly contested category with many quality entries.

Watch the rest of the mini-documentaries about the 2022 iTnews Benchmark Awards finalists’ projects here throughout April.

On June 15, the award winners will be announced at a ceremony and dinner hosted by KPMG in Barangaroo, Sydney.

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