Northern Territory invests in digital government, data centre upgrades

Territory to establish an Office of Digital Government

The Northern Territory will spend $5 million to establish an Office of Digital Government.

The new agency was revealed in the NT budget, which was handed down yesterday. The Office of Digital Government will “advance government’s digital initiatives and address ICT strategy, design and direction at the enterprise level,” budget documents state.

The office will sit within the Department of Corporate and Information Services. The government's digital team has been shifted from the Department of the Chief Minister to DCIS as part of the creation of the agency.

The Territory’s government revealed that it would also spend $12.4 million on a developing a technology platform to manage its infrastructure assets and a total of $200,000, beginning in the current financial year, on setting up a MyFuel site that will be at the centre of a mandatory retail fuel price reporting scheme.

The budget also earmarks $5 million for the final year of a deal between the government and Telstra to bolster telecommunications in remote communities.

The NT government will spend $200,000 in 2016-17 and 2017-18 to complete the rollout of 30 mobile hotspots in Central Australia and the Top End.

The budget also includes $5.9 million over three years to boost the security of government IT systems through rolling out an identity management solution, and $1.1 million over three years on a grants management system.

Some $45 million over four years will be spent on the replacement of the Police Real-time Online Management Information System (PROMIS) used by NT Police.

“This year $8.6 million will be spent to begin implementing a new police management system to replace PROMIS,” NT chief minister Michael Gunner said last week.

“The new system will consolidate five systems into one simpler, more robust case management package, meaning less desk time for frontline police officers during their shifts.”

“It is designed to enable police to respond quickly to new priorities, policy initiatives and reporting. It will also seamlessly connect with a range of other new technologies being introduced by NT Police over the next few years,” Gunner said.

Data Centre Services, which manages the government’s core IT infrastructure, will receive $2.12 million to spend on transitioning to a dual-site computing model at the government’s two data centres. The Territory’s FY16 budget funded a second data centre facility for government.

In 2017-18 the agency is expected to manage 3.5TB of government data and 1450 servers (over 415 servers) up from 1350 in FY17.

Health ICT overhaul

The NT government also committed to spending $259 million over five years on a massive overhaul of health ICT in the Territory. The Core Clinical Systems Renewal Program (CCSRP)was announced last year by the previous government, originally with a budget of $185.9 million over five years.

“This is the largest and most complex ICT systems project ever undertaken in the Northern Territory and is a major investment in improving our public health system and creating jobs,” health minister Natasha Fyles said.

“This project will give people confidence they are getting the service they deserve and will help keep doctors and nurses and other medicals professionals here too.

“This program will consolidate the NT’s public health systems into a single ICT solution and open up accessibility to allow clinicians to treat patients across the Territory, regardless of where they are located.”

The successful tenderer for the project is expected to be announced this month.

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