Tasmania inches closer to justice ICT overhaul

Expects Justice Connect design work to begin next year

The Tasmanian government has earmarked funds from its Digital Transformation Priority Expenditure Program for a number of major tech initiatives in the state, including the ongoing Justice Connect project.

The project is set to receive $25.5 million over the next four years as part of the state’s 2019-20 budget, handed down today.

Preliminary work on Justice Connect kicked off in 2017, with the government last year funding work on requirements gathering for the project, which will seek to address the shortcomings of legacy systems at the state’s Department of Justice.

“The Department has undertaken a successful Request-for-Proposal process which has enabled the Department to determine the appropriate architecture to finalise development of detailed specifications prior to undertaking a tender for an IT solution,” budget documents state.

“The IT solution will enhance efficiencies and improve policy outcomes through better information sharing, access to timely and trusted information and integration across government with relevant critical ICT systems (e.g. systems within the Department of Police, Fire and Emergency Management).”

Some $4.5 million in 2019-20 will be used to finalise detailed requirements for the project, with an eye to awarding a tender by early 2020. Design and development is expected to commence in mid-2020.

The budget also notes that funds from the Digital Transformation Priority Expenditure Program will be used for ongoing work on Project Unify: An effort to replace ageing and disconnected police ICT systems.

The TasALERT emergency information service received additional operational funding of $951,000 over 2019-20 and the forward estimates period, which the government said “recognises the increased costs to deliver a robust TasALERT service and emergency management communications projects across government.”

The service is to provide whole-of-government information in emergencies such as bushfires, terrorist attacks or severe weather.

The government said preparations are underway to shift to the state’s new digital fisheries licensing system. The $6.2 million Fisheries Integrated Licensing Management System (FILMS) project kicked off in 2016-17. The first stage of the project is nearing completion, with $4.7 million earmarked over the next three years to support the transition of commercial fisheries.

“The funding will enable further enhancements to FILMS allowing digital licensing, real time transfer of fisheries data and streamlining of licence and quota management processes,” budget documents state.

The Tasmanian government said that overall it was spending around $53.3 million on ICT infrastructure to support service delivery.

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