NSW govt updates ICT reform, stresses industry importance

The NSW government has today provided an update on the progress of its ICT policy reforms, while once again highlighting the importance of involving industry.
Written by Michael Lee, Contributor

NSW Deputy Premier Andrew Stoner and the Minister for Finance and Services Greg Pearce updated the state today on how the NSW government is progressing with the reform of its ICT policies.

The reform in policy is aimed at improving customer service, data management, procurement, and industry engagement.

Stoner was quick to point out that industry was still heavily involved in the policy reform, highlighting the importance of businesses in creating jobs and contributing to the digital economy. Given this, one of the government's next steps is to determine what else needs to be done to work cooperatively with private businesses.

"Following the establishment of a high level taskforce, a digital economy industry action plan is being finalised that will outline a vision and strategy for the digital economy in NSW over the next decade," Stoner said.

"The industry action plan will outline actions for both industry and government that will encourage industry growth, development, and innovation," Stoner said.

The taskforce's final report is due at the end of this month, with the government set to respond the month after.

Pearce also provided an update into the other areas of the NSW ICT reform. On the open government front, it plans to poll the public even more on how ICT policies will be developed, and will also overhaul its design guidelines for how government websites are displayed, whether that be on the desktop or mobile platform.

This carries over to the government's push towards open data, with Pearce stating that the government is now looking at developing an open access licensing framework that will allow more people to use government data. This information will be pooled into, and federated in line with various data.x.gov.au sites for each state, so it is more consistent and accessible.

Procurement continues to fall into the limelight, after the recent announcement that the government would make changes to how it procures IT services. It has already mandated the use of the ProcureIT contract, but it is now creating a "short form" version that is to be used in low-risk engagements, to make it easier for small to medium enterprises.

Pearce also revealed that the government had made a decision on its use of the cloud, although he did not provide further time frames for when a final product might be available or who might provide the service.

"We've begun scoping the works for this, and we'll inform industry of the progress in coming weeks," he said.

Pearce also reminded industry that the government is in the process of refreshing its IT advisory panel. Several members have already been selected to remain, but Pearce said that businesses that had not yet applied should do so, as the government was planning to make its decision soon.

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