Digital Council reports NSW and Victoria have the most data-based digital initiatives

Just under 100 data and digital government initiatives are currently underway in Australia, a report from the Australian Digital Council has revealed.

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Digital and data initiatives across Australia.

The Australian Digital Council (ADC) has published an overview of data and digital government initiatives across the nation, finding a total of 93 projects spanning state, territory, and federal government.

In the State of the Data and Digital Nation, the ADC revealed the federal government is leading the way with the most initiatives, with the report [PDF] highlighting a total of 16 spanning policy and strategy, user experience, products and services, service enablers, internal capabilities, and data-sharing and linking.

A handful of initiatives from the Australian government are based on data-sharing and linking, such as Data Sharing and Release reforms, the Consumer Data Right, Data Integration Partnership for Australia, data.gov.au, Making Australian Government Data Available, and the National Drought Map.

New South Wales follows the Commonwealth with 13 initiatives, mostly covering its internal capabilities, including procurement and cybersecurity, as well as overhauling citizen-facing services, such as the state government's cybersecurity strategy, digital.nsw accelerator, and the Data Analytics Centre.

The state's digital driver licence play and the Fuel Check initiative were also highlighted by the ADC as notable.

Following NSW is Victoria, with 12 initiatives underway. Like the Commonwealth, the Victorian government is mostly focused on data-sharing and linking.

The Victorian government in April last year launched a Data Reform Strategy for the Victorian Public Service (VPS) that aims to achieve a collective vision of better decisions underpinned by data.

According to the ADC, the strategy has seen VPS departments and agencies assisted in the development of their own data strategies, the building of "high performing, data-driven teams", and the adoption of whole-of-government data integration initiatives.

With 11 initiatives, South Australia is focusing on a digital transformation strategy, including the development of its sa.gov.au site and an overhaul of citizen-facing services, such as common government forms and updated Human Services interactions.

The Australian Capital Territory has 10 data and digital initiatives in the works, and as does Queensland, which this week expanded the scope covered under its Advance Queensland scheme.

With a vision of "end-to-end" digital, the ACT government has established a new capability which includes functions such as digital identity and verification, payments, customer relationship management, customer experience, push notifications and integration.

ACT Digital, however, only currently boasts four actions: Housing ACT's Rental Bond Help; Access Canberra's Transfer My Infringement, for people to transfer their infringement notice to the driver of the vehicle at the time of the offence; the Office for Women's ACT Diversity Register; and the Community Services Directorate's My Family service, which is a central place for people to tell their story once and share it with the entities providing them help.

The Northern Territory has nine projects underway, spanning data usage and linking and user experience; while Western Australia is working on eight, most notably its GovNext-ICT program.

Worth AU$3 billion over the next 10 years, the behemoth IT project is aimed at allowing the state to concentrate on delivering government services, by handing the IT heavy-lifting elsewhere.

In addition to the GovNext-ICT project, WA has been focusing on its regional communities, the ADC said, specifically the provision of digital connectivity, with the aim of enabling "significant productivity gains" in industry sectors such as mining and resources, agriculture, and food processing.

After releasing its Digital Territory Strategy in October last year, the Northern Territory is now looking to build a "secure, connected, and thriving digital economy", by increasing digital capability and jobs, and improving services and opportunities, as well as the "social prosperity" for Territorians.

Tasmania trails the pack with only four data and digital initiatives on the cards, focusing on skills creation and digital inclusion.

"Jurisdictions are striving to make Australians' lives better, developing and implementing data and digital transformation initiatives to ensure Australia is at the forefront of data and digital policy, programs, and service delivery," the report reads.

The Australian Digital Council was formed in September 2018 in a bid to drive better cross-government collaboration on data and digital transformation.

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