QLD Govt injects $40M to spur state’s digital transformation

The Queensland government has announced a $40 million funding package to further the state’s digital transformation and "modernise" service delivery.

The funding boost is part of a broader scheme to digitise government services, as well as bolster the state’s digital security provisions for state records, according to Queensland's Minister for Innovation, Science and the Digital Economy, Leeanne Enoch.

“Our challenge is to improve government service delivery against this backdrop of digital transformation, open up our data to provide the building blocks for the knowledge economy and make better use of government data to unlock Queensland’s full potential,” Enoch said.

The $40 million funding boost will be allocated from the $419.6 million 2017-18 State Budget.

Nearly half the allocated funds will be directed to the state’s ‘One-Stop Shop’ program – an online platform for Queensland residents to access government services and information.

According to Enoch, the government has already seen a tangible payoff from its investments in the One-Stop Shop platform.

“Our customers expect us to deliver an experience similar to other organisations they interact with,” Enoch said. “A great example of the better services being delivered is an online seniors’ concessions service, which streamlines access to concessions for people over 65.”

This latest service upgrade has received “overwhelmingly positive feedback”, Enoch said, reducing processing times for applications from 20 days to a single day.

This is the second incarnation of an online customer service portal initiated by a Queensland government. A similar initiative, launched back in 2009, proved an organisational failure, crippled by weak central coordination and leadership, according to previous Queensland auditor-general, Andrew Greaves. The existing One-Stop Shop platform was revived by the Newman Government in 2013, with the incumbent Palaszczuk government launching the current series of upgrades.

$12.7 million of the total funding pool will be allocated to the development of the first stage of a digital archive solution, which aims to improve security around the state’s digital records.

The remaining funds will be directed to the development of a Science ICT Remediation and Renewal Program (receiving $6.2 million) and an Open Data initiative (to the tune of $1.1 million).

The Open Data initiative provides datasets to the research sector and industry to support new services and Queensland’s ‘knowledge economy’.

“The work that will be delivered under the Open Data initiative will enable access to free, usable Queensland Government data to encourage the growth of new and innovative services, projects and businesses,” Enoch said.