On 1 December 2015, the Minister for Finance, Services and Property, the Hon Dominic Perrottet MP, announced the NSW Government Operational Communications Strategy. The Strategy sets out the operating models, priorities and actions required to drive significant reform, savings and better services to NSW Government agencies.
The Strategy will deliver a more unified approach to the way personnel in the field communicate with each other. It outlines four broad themes that will result in better services, more coverage and a seamless experience for our frontline operational communications users:
- One integrated portfolio – remove duplication and fragmentation by managing assets, resources and services as a single, integrated, efficient portfolio
- Shape a competitive market – drive an effective and mature services market that meets sector requirements
- Evolved critical communications capability – develop a resilient and secure communications capability for the sector that supports existing mission-critical voice and new video and data based services
- Information enabled – create a shared intelligence capability that enables public safety agencies to access target, timely and relevant information from a variety of government, community and industry sources
Under the Strategy NSW Government agencies will move away from individual agencies building, owning and operating their own networks to a model where they have access to the right services by the right provider, with industry playing a key role. This model will eliminate the unnecessary waste and duplication that has hampered the sector in the past, while facilitating greater industry participation and competition.
Department of Finance, Services and Innovation Circular DFSI-2015-06
A new Department of Finance, Services and Innovation Circular, Department of Finance, Services and Innovation Circular DFSI-2015-06 has been issued that provides context for agencies and statutory corporations on the Strategy, particularly in relation to rationalising the existing portfolio of assets. The Circular also directs agencies to facilitate site access to the Telco Authority for planning purposes, and continues the requirements to use standardised services and equipment, and provide any operational communications investment proposals to the Telco Authority for review prior to submitting to the Expenditure Review Committee of Cabinet.
Department of Finance, Services and Innovation Circular, Department of Finance, Services and Innovation Circular DFSI-2015-06 sets out a series of measures that guide agencies into planning their investment activities so that they are in accordance with the overall direction of the sector, unless exempt.
The Circular sets out the approval process for agencies who wish to invest in the following categories:
- Any significant expenditure (over $500,000) on new operational communications assets and commercial services, and
- For new sites or new towers on a site, regardless of cost.
It also directs agencies to purchase off product catalogues under the existing Panel Contract ITS 2573: Operational Telecommunications Equipment, Infrastructure and Services unless exempt.