We will deliver an ICT solution that optimises payroll service integration with effective people management. This will increase efficiency, improve service delivery and allow us to take a strategic approach to managing our people.
Reshaping the government of today - building the government of the future
ACT Government is ambitious in the desire to create an inclusive, progressive and connected Canberra, taking advantage of technology and data to achieve measures of wellbeing for the people and measures of prosperity for businesses.
Success depends on continuing to evolve the knowledge and skills of the people who work in government, the methods and processes used to deliver needed change and making clever and sustainable choices about technology investments.
Our focus areas
Invest in our people
For government to be community -centred, transparent, data-driven, trusted and innovative, we need to create the conditions for staff to be constantly learning future-ready skills on-the-job. The biggest challenge is finding ways to create the space for our staff to learn new skills and build on these through practice.
The skills are a combination of knowledge-based and other skills and include:
- adaptability and openness to learning
- community-centred and customer service orientation
- design-thinking and approaches to managing change
- active listening, communication and story-telling
- understanding the value of data and the ability to analyse and use it
- collaboration and teamwork, within, across and outside of government
- program and project management
- critical thinking and analysis
- procurement and contract management
- privacy and security
- change management.
We will invest in our staff to build these capabilities, at all levels. We will do this through a combination of formal training, on-the-job learning, guidance materials and story-telling. For example, the ACT Digital Program is using contemporary design and program management methods using a multi-disciplinary team across government to deliver Working with Vulnerable People reforms. We are working to progressively build a Data Governance and Management Framework to build awareness of the value of data and guide staff as they evolve their data management practices. We are working across jurisdictions to share intelligence and resources on leading digital transformation and building the future workforce.
Design and co-design are the way we manage change
Community-centred design approaches help us deliver change that meets community needs, because you’ve been involved with government and experts in helping to shape and design the change. Other key features include:
- clarity of outcome - everyone working on change understands the outcome to be achieved and who the beneficiaries are; as each project evolves, we test against the outcome to ensure we’re on target.
- holistic design - this considers people, process, place, technology, communications, user experience, data, policy and legislation that contribute to success to build coordinated and integrated policy and service delivery.
- multi-disciplinary teams - offer greater perspectives and expertise to ensure a change meets the outcome, reduces burden in the community, is sustainable for government to administer and doesn’t create unintended consequences.
- design governance - supports informed decision-making and provides opportunities for government and senior leaders to understand how a change is planned to be implemented, identity positive and negative effects and allows for adjustment before more expensive build and implementation phases.
Strategic approach to ICT investment
The ACT Government supports the community and everything we do in government is supported by technology. Many of the services we deliver require collaboration across ACT Government agencies and industry groups such as community services organisations. Historically systems have been designed along organisational boundaries.
Our future ICT investment decisions are being informed by government priorities and understanding our existing technology estate, including the challenges of adequately resourcing maintenance and upgrades. Cross-government integration is a key objective and we are creating a whole of government business, information and technology architecture and roadmap to guide our decisions.
Identification of system capabilities and understanding how these support the community and functions of government, will enable us to identify systems that perform similar functions for consolidation over time, and the ones that perform niche functions that need to be preserved or enhanced.
Full Service ICT
The ACT Government has achieved efficiencies in the delivery of Human Resource, Finance and ICT functions through a Shared Services model. Under this model the government has delivered a common desktop environment, adopted a ‘cloud first’ strategy, moved a number of business systems into the cloud, and strengthened the maturity of our technology lifecycle management processes.
Our approach has delivered the technology foundations that support a philosophy of ‘one ACT Government’. However, the business of government continues to evolve, along with the services we provide to the community, requiring ongoing investment in new technologies.
Like many other governments and large organisations, we are challenged with the pace of technological change and the investment required to maintain, decommission or renew the vast array of applications required to support our front-line services.
The next phase of our technology strategy needs to focus, where it makes sense, on:
- continuing to evolve strategic approaches to ICT investment
- consolidating common functions onto core platforms and building new solutions from standardised, reusable components
- centralising, where appropriate, the management and support of applications.
Applications and software services are the technology interface to our community, and our staff. Their databases house the data that’s so important to the future of our community, and their business rules and workflows either work together to achieve a good result, or work against useability and productivity. To optimise the use of our resources we will progressively utilise more commodity ICT services to enable our staff to focus on:
- building deeper knowledge of ACT Government business streams
- participating in multi-disciplinary co-design teams
- configuring standardised Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solutions to support common government processes
- evolving our software solutions to address changing community expectations.
The fundamental principles of government procurement are to be transparent, fair and ethical, while delivering value for money to the Territory in the goods and services we purchase. We must ensure that we create and maintain competition for our business.
Our procurement processes in the ACT need to evolve to keep pace with the changing way that goods and services are sourced and provided in an ever-changing digital marketplace. A traditional Request for Tender (RFT) process is time-consuming and costly for government to prepare and for industry to respond to and is not always the best way of achieving the desired procurement outcome. There are other ways that government can ensure probity of process, and structure broad participation in a competitive test of the market without presenting disproportionate hurdles for businesses.
In technology procurements, smaller companies don’t always have the resource base to compete with larger companies on tender responses, even though their products or service offerings may be competitive. At the other end of the procurement scale, larger companies may choose not to respond to an RFT if the value of any arrangement is not enough to warrant the investment of time and resources in developing that response. The challenge in employing the appropriate procurement method, therefore, is one of better matching the outcome being procured to how businesses can best put forward their offering.
The traditional Statement of Requirements, in which we are encouraged to conceive and list everything that we might want in detail, gives way to less prescriptive outcomes-based procurement practices, where we define clearly the outcomes we’re seeking to achieve, and any broad parameters within which this must be done such as time, cost or in consultation with various parties. This approach places a stronger emphasis on evaluation of responses against the strategic need of the Territory, encourages innovation and provides a level playing field for businesses of any size or scale to compete.
In technology procurements, the traditional engagement with a software company to design and build a product to a set of specifications, has given way to software as a service. These are either purchased as complete subscription services, or as platforms that can be configured to meet virtually any need.
Privacy and cyber security
The threat of cyber attack is increasing and our systems and processes are constantly advancing to maintain protections and lines of defence against these attacks. We take a multi faceted approach to ensuring the security of our systems, and more importantly, to protect the information they contain. Key strategies include:
- stopping threats from entering, through controls such as firewalls and intrusion detection monitoring.
- controlling who gets access to the network through controls such as strong authentication and on/offboarding processes.monitoring, and regular patching of systems.
- protecting users wherever they are – we work in an increasingly mobile world – computing extends beyond the office.
- finding and containing problems fast – includes rapid response and incident management processes.
- educating our users – often data breaches are caused by human error.
- collaborating and information sharing on threats with our government counterparts, increasing resilience – we are stronger together.
Our Cyber Strategy will outline how we will use data to build a safer Canberra, while maintaining and enhancing the privacy principles we are committed to. We will consult with you so that we know your expectations and get the balance right by protecting privacy while making best use of the data collected.
We developed a whole-of-government Strategic Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) Plan 2020-2022 that outlined how we will consolidate and manage CCTV data and use it to safeguard people in the community.
We commit to being transparent about privacy and cyber security breaches if and when they occur.
Here is one of the initiatives that we are working on that illustrates our commitment to reshaping the government of today. More projects and greater details can be found in the Initiatives.
Our digital governance arrangements include:
The Head of the ACT Public Service is the chair of the Strategic Board. The Strategic Board is the peak ACT Public Service forum that leads the delivery of cross-directorate and strategic issues. The Strategic Board provides whole-of-government leadership and strategic direction to the ACT Public Service, including leading the digital transition.
This Board comprises all Directors-General and other whole-of-government roles, including the Deputy Director-General, Workforce Capability and Governance; the Deputy Director-General, Policy and Cabinet and the Chief Digital Officer.
Strategic Board meetings are held on a fortnightly basis.
Digital Services Governance Committee
The Chief Digital Officer is the chair of the Digital Services Governance Committee, which is a sub-committee of the Strategic Board. The Committee provides strategic direction, leadership and advice on the development and management of our information and technology assets. The Digital Services Governance Committee strengthens the whole-of-government ICT portfolio investment management by taking a service-wide, community-centric approach and looking for ways to share information and resources.
The Committee comprises representatives from all directorates and meets monthly.
Data Steering Committee
Currently, the Director-General of the ACT Health Directorate is the chair of the Data Steering Committee, which is a sub-committee of the Strategic Board. It provides strategic direction, leadership and advice on the development and management of our data assets. The Data Steering Committee drives our data management reform agenda, including building data analytics capabilities and implementing whole-of-government data management practices to leverage the value of its data holdings.
The Committee comprises representatives from all directorates and meets every six weeks.