Steps for funding

We have lots of ideas about how we can transform government. In fact, we have so many ideas that there are more projects than there is funding. So, we developed a six-step process to ensure we prioritise projects that maximise outcomes for NSW:

  1. We make sure projects are part of forward digital plans
  2. We check projects eligibility
  3. We work across the sector to build a pipeline of projects
  4. For projects that make it into the pipeline, we help you write and submit a business case, which is the assessed
  5. You receive approval and funding
  6. We check throughout your project to make sure you're meeting your objectives

Beyond Digital Strategy and Investment planning

Every year, clusters update their digital investment plans. These plans support the Beyond Digital Strategy and are provided to the Department of Customer Service. This forms an indicative list of projects eligible for funding under the Digital Restart Fund.

If your project is not on this forward plan, you will need to:

  • Have it prioritised by your cluster, relative to the projects that are on the forward plan
  • Have it approved by one of the following governing bodies:
    • Life journeys, Life events: Customer Council (CC) for life journey projects
    • ICT and Digital Leadership Group (IDLG) for state digital asset and legacy modernisation projects
    • Enabling capabilities: Public Service Commission (PSC) for enabling capabilities projects

Please contact the Digital Restart team to find out more about the regular Beyond Digital updates.

Eligibility Test

If your project is on the forward plan, we will then check to make sure it meets the Eligibility Criteria. To find out more about project eligibility, please contact the Digital Restart team.


We have a process to prioritise project proposals - we call this our pipeline. All projects will be assessed through the digital pipeline Prioritisation Tool. The DRF Prioritisation Tool is a self-service application that allows clusters to submit and prioritise their projects into the DRF pipeline.

Based on the information you provide us with in the Prioritisation tool, the DRF Team will assess the project's eligibility and how well the project meets the objectives of the fund. Projects are prioritised against a set of criteria aligned to the fund's objectives, as well as specific triage and remediation and modelling processes. The final list of projects will then be reviewed for distribution across the target categories outlined in the legislation and adjusted if needed.

Once the pipeline has been endorsed by DRF Steer Co and approved by Cabinet Infrastructure Committee (CIC), projects can move to the Investment Prioritisation process, and develop business cases for assessment, consideration and the most appropriate funding pathway.

The list ('the pipeline') is reviewed quarterly for any emerging priorities. If your project is put into the pipeline, we will let you know and work with you to priorities the project. Alternatively, the Digital Restart team can help with your query.

Important information

The prioritisation process is governed by the DRF Working Group (made up of officer-level representatives from DCS, Treasury, the Department of Premier and Cabinet) and the DRF Steering Committee (made up of representatives from DCS, Treasury, the Department of Premier and Cabinet, Department of Regional NSW, Transport for NSW (IDLG) and Infrastructure NSW).

Investment Prioritisation

Now that we have worked out which projects we think should be funded, you need to prepare a business case which we then assess and compare to other business cases that we receive. We call this investment prioritisation.

We look at the maturity and readiness of the project and think about the most appropriate funding pathway. Projects are scored according to customer needs, economic benefits, delivery approach and risk profile.

We also look at how well projects meet the intention of the fund, including:

Strategy: how well the project aligns to Cluster objectives and existing government priorities.

Deliverability: does the project team have the skills and capacity to deliver the project.

Economic viability: what is the net benefit to the state (improving economic growth, productivity or safety). We look at cost-benefit analysis and score them against other projects.

Affordability: can we afford to do this project in NSW? What are the long-term funding implications? Is it sustainable?

Desirability (Social impact): what is the positive impact on the customer? Does it align with NSW's Social Impact Investment Policy?

Every year we will go through this prioritisation process to make sure that projects being funded are delivering and that we are funding the right projects at the right time.

Read more about how to prepare your business case. You can contact the Digital Restart team to find out more about investment prioritisation.

Approval and Funding

All seed and scale projects are approved by the Minister for Customer Service and Digital Government, Minister for Small Business, Minister for Fair Trading on the recommendation of the Secretary of the Department of Customer Service, before being reviewed and approved by ERC.

If your business case is successful, you will be issued with a funding letter. This funding letter outlines how much money your project will receive and what your delivery and reporting obligations will be.


We are required to report regularly to Cabinet Infrastructure Committee (CIC) and ERC on how well the fund is meeting its objectives. To help us, we ask for monthly project reports to be submitted through the ICT Assurance portal. Your reporting obligations will be clearly outlined in your funding letter.

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