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2021–2022 in review

The Digital Restart Fund is accelerating digital transformations and delivering real outcomes to NSW customers. In 2021-2022, $687 million in funding has been allocated by the Digital Restart Fund to 107 new projects.

Minister’s Foreword

2021 – 2022 in Review

The Hon. Victor Dominello MP Minister for Customer Service and Digital Government.

Four years on from the establishment of the Digital Restart Fund (DRF), I can proudly say that this has been pivotal in shaping how we transform our services, our ways of working and the value we provide to our customers. On behalf of the NSW Department of Customer Service, it brings me great pleasure to present the Digital Restart Fund Annual Report for financial year 2021-22. In this report we highlight how the DRF has been a driver for collaboration across government, innovative thinking and enabling the delivery of digital services that are impactful for our customers.

As you know, I announced my retirement from politics in August 2022 and have been overwhelmed with the support and well wishes I’ve received. I can look back at my time serving the people of NSW and how far we’ve come in creating a customer-centric government, and a leader in digital change. This change can’t be achieved by one person, or one agency. For us to build and sustain a truly customer-centric government we need to collaborate.

When I introduced the Digital Restart Fund Bill in 2019, my vision was for NSW to be a leader in digital and investment reform, changing the way we plan, fund and deliver our services. We have come a long way since then. Over the last twelve months, the Digital Restart Fund has continued to drive digital transformation forward despite a global pandemic and devastating floods that have impacted many communities throughout NSW. Never has it been more important to find digital solutions to keep NSW communities safe, connected and within reach of help. I hope you enjoy reading the stories about how DRF funded projects have improved the way we live, work, play and do business in NSW.

I want to thank everyone who contributed to achieving the great outcomes in this report. It’s not about the legacy we leave behind, it’s about the environment we create to foster change. Keep the momentum going, I’m optimistic about what the future holds.

The Hon. Victor Dominello MP

Minister for Customer Service and Digital Government.

Note from Emma Hogan and Greg Wells

Emma Hogan Secretary for Digital and NSW Department of Customer Service and Greg Wells NSW Government Chief Information and Digital Officer.

A crucial part of our journey for digital transformation at the Department of Customer Service has been challenging the way we think about the digital needs of our 8 million customers across the state. Through listening and responding to our customers, NSW is again ranked as a leader in digital government, according to Intermedium’s 2022 Digital Government Readiness Report. We’re excited to be at the forefront of change in Australia.

Digital is not just about technology, it’s a touchpoint for nearly everything we do. The last few years have presented challenges we’ve had to respond to together in new and innovative ways.

Our digital advancements have been critical in helping us join up services, provide information and support quickly and easily, and enable delivery of key services to the people of NSW. The Digital Restart Fund has played a significant role in enabling NSW Government to respond in an agile way to the emerging needs of our customers. So far, we have invested:

  • $419 million in uplifting the future generation’s education through projects like the Education Wallet and Rural Access Gap program
  • $27 million in building resilience and biodiversity to protect the future of the state’s threatened species through Greener Neighbourhoods, Save our Species and National Multi-Hazards Service
  • $133 million in building Safer Places by enhancing safety outcomes, improving the experience for volunteers, and reducing distress for families. Projects include Advanced Bushfire Intelligence
  • $254 million in improving patient outcomes, for example by helping busy families easily track child health, development and vaccination records with the Digital Baby Book
  • $155 million in continuing to develop a customer-centric government through digitising services that enable customers to save time by telling us once. For example, Park N Pay, Easy to do Business and Life Event notification service.

Investing in digital has continued to drive benefits to NSW Government, industry, and our community. So far, we’ve supported the creation of close to 3000 new jobs and enabled millions of digitised and improved interactions with customers. We’d like to sincerely thank all those who have contributed to delivering these impactful services to our customers. We look forward to evolving the Digital Restart Fund and continuing to invest in driving outcomes for our customers.

Emma Hogan

Secretary for Digital and NSW Department of Customer Service.

Greg Wells

NSW Government Chief Information and Digital Officer.

Executive Summary

Mark Howard Executive Director Digital Strategy, Investment and Assurance.

It’s been another momentous year delivering outcomes for the people of NSW. The support and drive of our NSW Government colleagues, and industry is key to ensuring we keep focussing on the customer and their needs, and how best to deliver on these.

I’ve led my team in administering the Digital Restart Fund (DRF) since its inception. During this time, we’ve transformed the way NSW Government prioritises, invests, and delivers digital products and services. From pre-DRF where government invested millions in multi-year projects, to now de-risking investments through the DRF by funding smaller, iterative projects that deliver value faster.

The DRF has continued to drive NSW Government’s digital transformation agenda to improve services and provide economic and productivity benefits for the NSW economy. This year we’ve invested in areas like digital identity, digital access to health care, supporting customers in the face of natural disasters and enabling digital education.

But that’s not all. Earlier this year we developed the Digital ICT Investment Strategy 2022-2024 (DIIS) approved by Cabinet. This strategy delivers on NSW Government’s vision to deliver smart, simple, and seamless services to the people of NSW and sets out a sustainable digital and ICT investment plan for NSW Government.

Through the DIIS, we will enable NSW Government to:

  • Increase and manage investment through the Digital Transformation Board to ensure we remain a global digital leader delivering great outcomes for NSW
  • Clear investment pathways for NSW Government providing flexibility to reduce risk and provide faster outcomes for digital services
  • Establish a sustainable funding model for digital transformation.

This year we’ve set the groundwork for delivering on a strong digital and ICT agenda in NSW Government. I look forward to working with you all in the coming year to bring this to life.

Mark Howard

Executive Director Digital Strategy, Investment and Assurance.

Case Studies

Zig Zag Public School

Connectivity Digital Service Delivery Transformation

Zig Zag Public School was included in Release 2 of the Rural Access Gap program. The school has had great success through their involvement

Digital Solutions Saving our Species

Digital Service Delivery Transformation

The NSW Government is at the forefront of conservation of endangered species. It has undertaken the biggest conservation commitment to date

Smart Irrigation Management for Parks and Cool Towns

Digital Service Delivery Transformation

The Digital Restart Fund awarded $2.5M to Sydney Olympic Park Authority [SOPA] to finance parts of Smart Irrigation Management for Parks and

Digital Solutions Transforming Prisoner Rehabilitation

Digital Life Journeys Service Delivery

In 2020, Corrective Services NSW piloted in-cell digital technology at two NSW Correctional Centers as part of a program aimed at addressing

Asset AI® as an example of a Safer Place

Artificial Intelligence Digital Service Delivery

Asset AI® aims to support the creation of smart places by using artificial intelligence to help governments make better decisions about


Digital Service Delivery

The NSW Planning Portal (Portal) provides an integrated digital platform that supports effective planning and decision making across federal

Licensing Program

Digital Service Delivery

The Licensing Program is a $166.5 million multi-year program, majority funded by the Digital Restart Fund (DRF) , to create digital end-to

Complaints, Compliance and Enforcement Program

Digital Service Delivery

The Complaints, Compliance and Enforcement (CCE) Program is providing digitally enhanced compliance and enforcement integrated solutions