Finalists announced for Canberra’s Public Sector Innovation Awards

By The Mandarin

Friday June 16, 2017

The 12 finalists for Canberra’s 2017 Public Sector Innovation Awards have been announced, with two ACT government projects making the cut and the rest of the field made of Australian Public Service entrants.

This year, three awards — for projects involving digital and data, culture and practice, or innovative solutions — will be presented at a ceremony during Innovation Month on July 26 hosted by the ACT Division of the Institute of Public Administration Australia.

Four finalists in each category, selected from a total of 68 nominations, will present their projects to a judging panel on June 28. See below for a short description of each shortlisted project, thanks to IPAA ACT.

In the video below, The Mandarin journalist Stephen Easton talks public sector innovation with one of the judges, Andrew Metcalfe. A former secretary of several Commonwealth departments and a former IPAA ACT president, Metcalfe is now Ernst and Young’s lead partner working with the federal government and central agencies around the Oceania region.

The 2017 Innovation Awards finalists are:

Innovative solutions

Simpler BAS by the Australian Taxation Office: “Simpler BAS supports Australia’s 2.7 million small businesses. It decreases red tape and stress, creating greater capacity for business growth. Innovative partnering with small business, software industry and tax practitioners has delivered a commercial, practical solution that meets the needs of small business, now and into the future.”

LAUNCH Food challenge by innovationXchange at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade: “A new approach to open innovation focused on building and using a broadly-based, multi-stakeholder network to help solve the complex challenge of malnutrition in the Indo-Pacific, with ideas from biofortification to behaviour change.”

Digital First Capability by the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet: “The development of an innovative online briefing system has transformed the way the Department briefs the Prime Minister, breaking down barriers to collaboration by allowing the Prime Minister and his advisors to get information, ask questions and receive answers in real-time.”

Renewable Energy Reverse Auctions by the ACT Government: “A novel policy framework to promote renewable energy investment and became the first jurisdiction in Australia to use a reverse auction process to award a large-scale feed-in energy tariff. The process connects renewable electricity support to market forces ensuring that the support is as low as possible.”

Culture and practice

Defence Industry & Innovation Program by the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science and the Department of Defence (joint nomination): “The 2016 Defence Industry Policy Statement set out two initiatives to improve the identification, investment and delivery of Australian innovation into Defence capability. The Centre for Defence Industry Capability (CDIC) and the Defence Innovation Hub were launched in December 2016 as a collaboration between the departments, providing clearer Defence priorities and a single point of contact to Australian industry, academic and research organisations.”

Finance Transformation Program by the Department of Finance: “Working towards becoming a truly transformative agency, Finance has embarked on an exciting journey. Staff have been challenged to think differently and allowed to build, test and refine new processes and products. By leveraging capability, mobility, new technology and design thinking every day, the department is changing – inside and out.”

Fostering Collaboration: developing a longitudinal data community of practice by the Department of Social Services: “Australia’s inaugural Longitudinal Data Conference 2016 was delivered by the National Centre for Longitudinal Data (NCLD) as a catalyst to establish a new culture of collaboration and engagement between custodians, researchers, academics and government policy makers, establishing a community of practice to realise greater value from longitudinal data assets by applying them to complex policy problems.”

ON by CSIRO: “‘ON, powered by CSIRO’ is the only national accelerator custom designed for publicly funded research teams with a laser focus on helping them to develop the entrepreneurial skills and capacity to convert their great science and technology research into real-world outcomes – at pace.”

Digital and data

One Patient One Record — ACT and SNSWLHD Renal Network by the ACT Government: “A Renal Network was developed by ACT Health in partnership with Southern NSW to provide seamless care delivery within the region. This was facilitated by customisation of an electronic medical record that enabled sharing of real-time clinical information across the jurisdictions resulting in improvement in timely access to safe and efficient care.”

Lighthouse Project – MyService by the Department of Veterans’ Affairs
MyService is a simple, intuitive and innovative digital solution that redesigns a previously complex, paper-based claim process to greatly improve Veterans’ experience, allowing them to obtain the assistance they require more quickly with less stress and increased trust in the outcomes.

Maritime Arrivals Reporting System (MARS) by the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources: “MARS is the first fully online system for ensuring in-coming vessels meet biosecurity regulations to minimise the risk of pests and diseases entering Australia. This innovative system has been widely embraced by the international shipping industry.”

State of the Environment Digital by the Department of the Environment and Energy: “State of the Environment Digital delivers a comprehensive assessment of Australia’s environment. It does this using an interactive digital platform which, for the first time, delivers government reporting online allowing analysis of the change in state over time, users can interrogate, explore and download the data which underpin Australia’s national environmental assessment.”

Video production by contentgroup

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