Tasmania prepares to overhaul Justice ICT systems

Funds more requirements gathering work for Justice Connect initiative

The Tasmanian budget has earmarked $2.5 million from within the government’s Digital Transformation Priority Expenditure Program for preparing for a major overhaul of the Department of Justice’s key ICT systems.

The funding for 2018-19 will be used to continue preparing detailed requirements for the government’s ‘Justice Connect’ ICT revamp program. Last year the government allocated $150,000 for preliminary design work on Justice Connect.

The initiative is “driven primarily by the need to address the shortcomings of existing technology in key justice business systems,” budget documents state. The department is suffering from a “number of significant problems with the management of information in the criminal justice sector that are impeding its ability to effectively deliver services to the Tasmanian Community.”

Justice Connect is an opportunity to review how the department can replace some of its key business systems and “develop a contemporary ICT architecture for the criminal justice sector systems that will better serve the Community”.

“At its core, the Department is looking to redevelop these business systems and replace them with a Service-Orientated Architecture that enhances efficiencies and improves policy outcomes through better information sharing, access to timely and trusted information and integration across Government with relevant critical ICT systems (e.g. Department of Police, Fire and Emergency Management),” budget documents state.

Further funding will be allocated in future years as the initiative progresses, the government said. In total Justice Connect is expected to cost $16.6 million.

The $50 million Digital Transformation Priority Expenditure Program was announced last year by the government. This year the government will allocate $10 million as part of the program.

The state government has also allocated $1.5 million in 2018-19 for its previously announced work on a budget information management system and $7.8 million for Project Unify — the $12 million effort to upgrade a number of ageing and disconnected police ICT systems.

Other budget measures include:

• $400 000 over four years to “increase digital inclusion through the creation of a strategy to increase the capability and affordability for Tasmanians who are currently experiencing high levels of digital exclusion” — particularly older people and those who are not in paid employment;

• $75 000 to work with groups such as TasICT and the Australian Computer Society “to develop a new Workforce Development Plan for the industry, with particular focus on encouraging women and diversity in IT”;

• A commitment to a further year of funding for the Extend Digital Ready Program that is designed to help small businesses take advantage of digital technology;

• $5 million over five years on to enhance the Fisheries Integrated Licensing and Management System, including “allowing digital licensing, real time transfer of fisheries data and streamlining of licence and quota management processes”.

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