WA lays out details of its digital strategy roadmap

Months after announcing a new digital strategy through 2025, the Western Australia government has released the roadmap that will guide the strategy and has announced a new strategy priority.

Seven months after launching a digital strategy for 2021 to 2025, the Western Australia government released the first roadmap that will guide how the digital strategy is delivered. Along with the roadmap, the strategy which initially had four priorities has now five:

  • better services
  • informed decisions
  • safe and secure
  • digitally inclusive
  • supporting digital foundations, which is new

According to the state government, the fifth priority will help “illustrate initiatives that will future-proof government’s internal operations and ability to progress the digital strategy’s four strategic priorities”.

The first roadmap comes with 21 projects and initiatives that cover 12 state government agencies.

Some of the projects for better services include the WA.gov.au portal that combines information from a range of agencies. ServiceWA is a reform program to improve the public experience when dealing with the state government and it is currently being trialled.

There are two projects to improve decision making across the state. The Office of Digital Government has established a central, whole-of-government data sharing and analytics function. Interagency data sharing and hosting infrastructure is also part of this project. The second is an ICT system to enable Aboriginal groups to experience greater protection of heritage and transparency.

To address safety and security, projects will cover an information and classification policy, a workforce management solution to readily address natural disasters, changes to the work health and safety legislation, and a cybersecurity operations centre which is expected to have 30 agencies connected to it by July 2022.

The digital inclusion blueprint is still in development; the only update is that in November 2021, findings from the consultation on the WA Blueprint were published in the “Digital Inclusion in WA What We Heard” report.

How the WA government will support digital foundations

There are six projects as part of the newly announced fifth priority, most started in late 2021. A new, cloud-based human resources management information system (HRMIS) will replace WA Health’s legacy human resources and payroll system, rostering system, and nurse-placement service.

The Digital Foundations Program has initiatives to improve workforce productivity, including delivering a stable, supported, and simplified IT environment, reliable telecommunications, and increased cybersecurity resilience.

The Core Business Systems Program will deliver a stable, supported, integrated, and simplified finance, human resources, and records management system.

A single cloud-based finance system, called 1Finance, is to be designed and implemented by a Microsoft partner.

There will also be a cloud-based electronic document and records management system for the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation, and Safety.

The final project, which started in 2022, is a centralised financial management information system from Oracle for multiple WA government entities; it will be managed by the Department of Finance.

$500M digital fund

A $500 million digital capability fund was announced in September 2021 to drive investment in digital transformation and accelerate the delivery of the strategy. The announcement was part of the state’s 2021-22 budget. The fund includes $225 million in expenses and $275 million in capital investment. Of the total provisioned spending, $200 million has been set aside for future health-sector ICT projects.

Some of the projects had already an approved budget in September 2021. These include:

  • $13.9 million to allow the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation, and Safety to modernise and integrate existing standalone data and systems and expand system capability associated with mining approvals.
  • $10.6 million to the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation, and Safety for the geoscience data-transformation strategy.
  • $8.1 million to maintain critical police systems and databases and ICT infrastructure upgrades.
  • $3.1 million for the Office of Digital Government to undertake administration of the Digital Capability Fund, including project assurance, monitoring, assessment, and prioritisation of ICT projects.
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