The Victorian government will focus more heavily on upskilling public servants — senior ones in particular — as the pace of ICT change picks up in coming years.
Its Information Technology Strategy 2016-2020, launched by Special Minister of State Gavin Jennings on Thursday, reveals the government will develop an upskilling plan for ICT capability within government for January 2017.
The Victorian Public Sector Commission is working with the Victorian Secretaries Board to map out capability gaps and current and future needs.
Improved ICT capability is needed within the public service, argues the strategy.
“Information technology is a foundational enabler of modern government and needs to be more broadly understood as a core skillset of public servants, not just the technical staff tasked with managing systems.
“The government will identify roles, responsibilities and training needs in order to uplift ICT capability within the government.”
Public servants “don’t have to become technicians, they don’t have to become specialists, but they have to have a greater appreciation of what our current capability is and what options there may be available to them,” Jennings told The Mandarin last month.
Desktop upgrades, remote working on the cards
The ICT strategy also foreshadows a push to make public servants’ working arrangements easier.
Employees “should be given choice of devices and personal productivity and collaboration tools” and “should be able to easily work remotely from an office to serve citizens where they are”, the document argues.
It appears the makeover of the bureaucracy’s “outdated tools” and “poor systems” will include desktop software upgrades:
“Personal productivity systems should have robust, industrial-strength back-end components, but allow employees to easily use contemporary tools.
“Employees should be able to use a familiar and standard system for everyday corporate processes such as procurement and finance, and document, performance and identity management.”
The government plans to publish statements of direction on human resources, data networks and financial systems in August.
“At the basic level, many employees are hampered by out-of-date government systems for tasks like booking a meeting, sending an email or interacting digitally within a group. They are frustrated they can’t work digitally when they are away from their desks.
“The government is developing a standard set of workplace requirements to meet the needs of a modern, agile workforce. This will allow new employees to become productive quickly, and ensure that existing employees have access to workplace solutions that suit the way they work.”
The ICT strategy sets out a timeline of government plans for 2016-17.
- Introduce legislation to reform the FOI Act
- Review the ICT Governance Education Program
- Develop workplace ICT environment statement of direction
- Finalise CenITex’s governance
- Develop changes to improve ICT project delivery
- Develop data network statement of direction
- Develop human resources systems statement of direction
- Develop financial systems statement of direction
- Review the release of data
- Establish a performance management framework for CenITex
- Review how the government procures ICT
- Develop consultation and collaboration platform
- Develop an information management framework
Pilot API Gateway
- Develop cyber security statement of direction
- Develop cloud service standards and procurement models
- Undertake a Public Sector Innovation Fund project with Code for Australia
- Create a data agency
- Develop an upskilling plan for ICT capability within government
- Develop framework and standards for digital assets
- Identify potential master data sets
- Develop identity management statement of direction
- Explore long-term data storage options
- Develop automated briefing statement of direction
- Review government’s digital presence
- Development of Service Victoria