Cloud and open data pushed in NSW government ICT Strategy update

By Paul Hemsley

The New South Wales government has revealed the next step in its ambitious plan to improve service delivery to the public and business through better technology after it released its new ICT Strategy Implementation Plan that will bring in both a new open data policy and a new cloud policy to bring agencies up to speed on what utility computing can offer in terms of capability improvements and efficiencies.

This new Implementation Plan is essentially update to the NSW Government’s core ICT Strategy released in 2012 by then Minister for Finance and Services, Greg Pearce, with the aim of improving the procurement exploitation of the government’s annual $2 billion investment in information technology.

While the plan was warmly welcomed by both industry and agencies that had endured long and convoluted technology buying practices under the former Labor state government, Mr Pearce was unceremoniously sacked by Premier Barry O’Farrell in early August 2013 over a conflict of interest related to his cabinet position, leaving the well regarded Andrew Constance to carry-on the government’s extensive ICT reform plan.

Mr Constance said the NSW Government’s ICT Strategy Implementation Plan had been updated to continue to “drive better service delivery, greater transparency, and better value from ICT investment”.

“ICT is a fast changing environment and we recognise the need to refresh our ICT Strategy Implementation Plan to continue our ambitious reforms to deliver better services and provide better value for money,” he said.

He said the update focuses on delivering new actions for cloud solutions, data centre reform, open government, ICT procurement, information management and ICT skills.

“These measures will improve access and use of government information and develop new infrastructure, service capability and skills across government,” Mr Constance said.

The government outlined the key points of its new Implementation Plan, which include the development of a “digital strategy” to streamline access to information and “improve citizen engagement”; establish multi-channel services through Service NSW centres; and provide more products and services through the Government’s ICT Service.

The plan will also create an ICT workforce management strategy to improve ICT skills in government and establish a “location intelligence strategy” to better manage the government’s spatial data assets.

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