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EXCLUSIVE – Victoria Recognition of Excellence Awards 2018

EXCLUSIVE - Victoria Recognition of Excellence Awards 2018

This year,
OpenGov recognised 8 Victorian Government agencies and education institutes for
using technology to improve citizen engagement and public service delivery. 

Recipients of this year’s Recognition of Excellence awards were:

(1)  All-Party Parliamentary
Group on Artificial Intelligence

‍Mr Richard
Bolt, Secretary, Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and

OpenGov recognised the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Artificial
Intelligence (AI), co-convened by Minister for Innovation Philip Dalidakis and
Shadow Minister David Southwick, for preparing Victoria to benefit from this
emerging technology.

Victorian Parliamentarians are now taking the lead through the
establishment of a Victorian All-Party Parliamentary Group on AI to learn more
about AI, its impact and the implications for rhe economy and community.

Bringing together parliamentarians from across the political
spectrum, the All-Party Parliamentary Group on AI will be a focal point in the
Victorian Parliament for discussion of the critical and transformative nature
of AI.

(2) Box Hill Institute

‍Ms Jane
Trewin, Executive Director, Educational Delivery

OpenGov recognised the Box Hill Institute for its leadership role
in developing a single national approach for tackling cybersecurity skills
gap in Australia. 

In December 2017, CEOs and senior delegates from TasTAFE, TAFE
Queensland, TAFE NSW, Canberra Institute of Technology and other organisations
around Australia have signed a National TAFE agreement to work together on a
single national approach for addressing the issue. The program will deliver
common qualifications across the country based on courses developed at Box Hill
Institute in Victoria.

The Box Hill Institute has developed a Certificate IV and an
Advanced Diploma in Cyber Security to address Australia’s critical
cybersecurity skills gap, with funding support from the Victorian Government.
The Victorian Government invested AU$4.7 million from the AU$50 million TAFE
Back to Work Fund to support Box Hill to develop its cybersecurity

This solution has been developed in close partnership with industry.
Commencing in Term 1, 2018, the Cyber Security National Program will partner
with industry nation-wide to provide on-the-job experience for students and
address the national skills shortage in cyber security. The program will give
students access to accredited training provided by qualified teachers and trainers,
so they can get a job and help protect Australians online.

(3) Deakin University

William Confalonieri, Chief Digital Officer

OpenGov recognised Deakin University for the Deakin Genie digital
personal assistant tool for students.

New students at the campus typically have a multitude of questions
and a lot of time goes into replying to these inquiries that could involve
anything about the general student life at the campus. As these queries often
centre around similar issues, a self-learning chatbot frees up valuable teacher
time and to deliver satisfactory responses.

Deakin Genie uses a familiar chat interface and voice recognition
coupled with machine learning, which enables it to continually get smarter and
more intuitive as more students access the software and build on their
conversations. The 50,000 students at the school have 24/7 access to the

Deaking Genie is helping thousands of students every week, giving
answers to various queries and guiding students through a wide array of
processes, in the classroom, as well as with more administrative aspects of
campus life. For example, it can help students pay for parking at the campus,
how to submit assignments, where to enrol and how to navigate to the next

Along with the written explanation, many queries are handled using
rich media, such as maps, graphs, tables and images to help clarify matters for
inquisitive students.

(4) Department of Health and
Human Services

OpenGov recognised the Department of Health and Human Services for
developing the Client Incident Management System (CIMS).

The CIMS was implemented for the Community
Services sector in January 2018. The project was a joint partnership with the
Community Services Program and Design Division, in support of a new client
incident management policy.

The solution was developed in-house as a
Platform+Agile project, based on the DHHS Azure Framework. The solution
extended the framework which was initially used for the Victorian Housing
Register Application (VHRA) and included functionality for incident reporting,
reviews, investigations and detailed analytics and reporting via a web-based
portal Client Incident Register (CIR), as well as development of an Application
Programming Interface (API) for integration with external provider systems.

Since the solution went live on 15 January, 393
Community Service Organisations (CSO) encompassing over 2,500 users have
registered to use the Client Incident Register, with a further 35 CSOs
registered to use the CIMS API. Approximately 400 major impact and over 1,700
non-major impact incidents have been logged with the department for review.

A key success factor for buy-in of the solution
with the sector has been the use of an external-facing end user group during
development, and joint business/technology meetings with external stakeholders
prior to go-live. Having a committed Product Owner working closely with the
BTIM technology team and acting as a conduit between the business and
technology staff was also critical for the success of the project.

The DHHS Azure Framework is now being used and
extended to 9 other projects, including the Victorian Health Incident
Management System (VHIMS) project. The framework is being extended to include
re-usable microservices to complete common processes such as email and

(5) Department of Premier and

‍Ms Jo
de Morton, Interim
CEO – Service Victoria

OpenGov recognised the Department of Premier
and Cabinet for pushing forward the Service Victoria Bill 2017. The Bill will
bring Victoria closer to creating new whole-of-government agency for
centralised access to Government services.

Victorians complete around 55 million
transactions with the State Government every year, accessing government
services and information can be excessively difficult and costly as there are
hundreds of phone hotlines and websites.

The Service Victoria Bill 2017 aims to break
down departmental silos and create a new whole-of-government agency, Service
Victoria, that will act as a central access point for members of the community
accessing Government services.

The Bill provides minimum standards around the
handling and sharing of information, ensuring community members have the choice
and control, over how their personal information is obtained and used.

The Bill will allow the new agency to be able
to process and handle high volume Government transactions such as car
registration, birth certificates, fishing licences and many others as Service
Victoria grows.

(6) RMIT University

OpenGov recognise the RMIT University for the establishment of the
RMIT Blockchain Innovation Hub, the world’s first research centre on the social
science of blockchain.

The RMIT Blockchain Innovation Hub is the only full-service,
research, teaching and industry-linked blockchain body in the world.

Led by Professor Jason Potts in the School of Economics, Finance and
Marketing at RMIT University, the Hub will develop a world-leading
interdisciplinary research team focused on the economic, cultural and social
implications and impacts of blockchain technologies; partner with industry to
share research; develop and implement policy and industry-relevant measures of
the size and impact of the blockchain economy; and engage with government,
policymakers, stakeholders and the public debate on the social and policy
impact of blockchain technology.

The Hub will nurture students who will graduate work-ready with
skills in blockchain technologies and bring together policymakers in government
and industry practitioners looking for guidance about how best to meet
blockchain opportunities.

At the same time, in response to the growing importance of
blockchain as an emerging industry and in collaboration with industry, RMIT has
also launched Australia’s first university short course on blockchain strategy.
Through the eight-week course, students will have the opportunity to develop
in-demand experience, including strategic understanding of blockchain and how
to apply it to their industry and business.

(7) Transport Accident

‍Mr Bernie
Kruger, Business Intelligence and Data Science Lead

OpenGov recognised the Transport Accident
Commission (TAC) Victoria for its data-driven citizen-centric approach.

Data insights are a critical enabler of the TAC
2020 strategy and beyond. Many data management activities are being automated,
enabling greater focus on high value analytics, leading to better reporting and
better insights.

Everyone is taken along on the data journey,
not just the executives or IT. A Data, Reporting & Analytics competency
centre has been set up to bring together analytics pockets dispersed throughout
the organisation.

The Agency understood that solutions have to be
designed together with business. A working group was created with
representatives from various business divisions as well as IT and business
intelligence.  A review was conducted of the current environment. The
Agency has now worked out how to get to its desired future state.

A hybrid approach is being followed by the
Agency for exploring advanced AI, machine learning and predicitive
analytics applications. The team understands the importance of getting
the foundations in place and is working towards it. At the same time, while
data governance and data quality issues are being resolved, in parallel the
team explores and experiments with the advanced applications. For example, TAC
is sing machine learning or predictive applications to create client profiles
for qualifying them for pre-approved medical services. 

Another application being explored is when
clients are referred to vocational training service providers; the clients are
scored and classified according to levels of need. Then TAC can make baseline
predictions regarding the amount of time required for the client to get back to
the workforce. That information is passed on to the service provider as a
starting point."

(8) Victorian Registration and
Qualifications Authority

‍Mr Christopher
Ingham, Deputy Chief Executive Officer

OpenGov recognised the
Victorian Registration and Qualifications Authority (VRQA) for its agile
project management of VRQA Home Schooling information systems. 

VRQA is Victoria's education and training
regulator, an independent statutory authority that works to assure the quality
of education and training in Victoria.  In 2017, VRQA faced the challenge
of implementing the changes to its IT systems rapidly, catering for the
flexibility necessary for newly established business processes. VRQA chose an
agile project management approach, with incremental delivery of the key

In December 2017 the enhanced Home Schooling
CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system to facilitate the new
registration process was released. The next iteration – the review process, is
being developed now and will become available in production in May in time for
the business to kick of its new annual process. Rigorous user testing and
thorough training of all stakeholders of the modified CRM system, was an
important aspect of this project.

Home schooling website content was reviewed,
rationalised, expanded and a mobile responsive design was rolled out, so users
could easily access information on mobile devices. A real-time news feature was
introduced on the website to keep the community up-to-date with changing
regulatory requirements.  

Thanks to the project, over 3000 Victorian
families continue to educate their children at home without any hassle, despite
the change in regulations. VRQA officers obtained an enhanced IT system and
received important training. The home schooling community continue to receive
the services and are being informed promptly. The modified CRM system has the
capability to collect the necessary metrics for the Minister’s Office and for
VRQA Board. These metrics are paramount to regulate home schooling education in
Victoria to the highest standard.


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