As Western Australia gears up to head to the polls on March 11, Information Age asks both sides of politics to outline their ICT agenda.

Last week, we heard from Hon Kate Doust MLC, WA Shadow Minister for Information Communications Technology, from the Labor Party.

This week, Hon Bill Marmion BE MBA MLC, WA Minister for Innovation, outlines the Liberal party's agenda for WA's ICT sector.

Western Australia is currently undergoing a major transformation in the way government uses information and communication technology.

The Liberal-led Government’s ICT Strategy: Digital WA, launched last year, provides a comprehensive vision and roadmap for government ICT services in Western Australia.

As part of the ICT Strategy, the Western Australian Public Sector will move from a model where the Government is owner and operator of ICT infrastructure to a ‘pay-for-what-it-uses’ model.

Through improved collaboration and coordination, public sector agencies will work as part of one Western Australian Government in aligning their technology and business functions to improve service delivery to the community.

The GovNext program aims to consolidate over 60 Government data centres into a small number of interconnected, super-efficient, high-grade data centres with a multitenanted cloud for the Western Australian Government.

This will also establish a whole-of-government unified network, breaking down costly silos and unnecessary duplication across government agencies.

The key driver for the Digital WA strategy is for improved, customer-focussed delivery of Government Services.

At the forefront of this is the new portal, myWA: Government Digital Services Portal.

Rather than take the traditional path of developing an expensive, static, government- focussed user interface, the Liberal-led Government is implementing myWA in a staged approach.

This strategy will maximise user feedback and ensure the portal design meets Western Australian’s expectations and needs.

Late last year, I launched alpha.wa.gov.au, the first release of the myWA portal.

The intentionally limited functionality of the first release is allowing the community to contribute to the development of the design and types of services that will be offered through the final version of myWA.

Stage 2, to be released later this year, will include a range of personalised services within the Departments of Transport and Commerce.

Stage 3 will roll in additional Government services from other agencies and continue to increase the functionality and performance, again based on continual user feedback.

It is expected there will be the capacity to integrate in part with the existing Commonwealth services portal, myGov – enabling West Australian’s to have a one-stop-shop for most service interactions with both levels of Government.

There is recognition that the various agencies within the Western Australian Public Service are at different stages in the ICT maturity curve. To manage this, DigitalWA has been developed around a five-level best-practice capability maturity model.

Additionally, a key theme of the strategy is people capability, with the Office of the Government Chief Information Officer (OGCIO) currently developing an ICT skills framework based on the International Skills Framework for the Information Age (SFIA).

The OGCIO is also in the early stages of development of a Digital Workforce Plan. This plan will ensure the value of ICT staff is recognised, developed and shared across the public sector, and that other non-ICT staff can effectively use new and emerging technologies.

It is certainly an exciting time to be involved in ICT in the Western Australian public sector. I encourage you to find out more about what the Liberal-led Government is doing in the ICT space at www.gcio.wa.gov.au.