The NSW government aims at using data to drive outcomes and to improve the quality of services provided by public servants.

The Department of Finance, Services and Innovation (DFSI) of the New South Wales government, Australia, recently announced that it has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Microsoft that is expected to help the state departments and public services to progress on their path of digital transformation.

Greg Wells, chief information and digital officer, NSW government, has been reported to say that the state government, in its approach to bring about digital transformation, is focusing on a few tech-related areas such as migrating to cloud, data sharing, ethical use of artificial intelligence and cyber, so that both NSW and Microsoft can benefit from the outcome.

Wells added that one of the most important aspects of the agenda is to build digital capability in public service. In fact, the MoU includes a traineeship program for staffers and CIO reports that the government is working with the Customer Service Commissioner and the Public Service Commissioner to make sure that employees are exposed to useful training.

Wells has been reported to mention that there would be a specific training around Azure and public servants will be trained to develop skills that will help them to think differently.

Wells also said that the government has achieved success in certain programs such as one in which people from the Justice Department have come to work together with people dealing in data, digitalization and policy making. Such an approach has not been experimented with in case of public servants but using Microsoft skills and technologies would be one way of achieving such a move and help public servants get into programs, work in cross functional teams and focus on customers.

Though Wells did not mention the number of staff members that will be sent through training, according to the MoU NSW department leads will be taken to the Microsoft Technology Centre in Sydney to explore the difference digital transformation can bring about in government services and operations.

Steven Worrall, MD, Microsoft Australia has been reported to say that Microsoft looks forward to working with the Australian government on more of such initiatives.