The Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA) held an informative talk on improving Victoria’s Emergency Management system which Wave Digital attended. The spokespeople were: Grantly Mailes – Deputy Secretary, Department of State Development, Business and Innovation and the Government’s Chief Technology Advocate, Craig Lapsley - Emergency Management Commissioner, and David Brown – CIO, Department of Justice.
The talk centred on the Victorian state’s need to promote interoperability of their systems if they are to offer the best solution to Victorians in times of emergencies. We found the talk interesting – each party was quite candid about how getting different departments to work together is a new initiative and not something they are used to. Previously, each department was allocated its own ICT budget and largely operated on an independent basis. Unfortunately, this often resulted in inefficient software production, double handling of tasks, and a disconnect with the general public – who may want to access information from multiple departments simultaneously.
Some other interesting points raised by the speakers included
- Most of us prefer to deal with the government online than in person or over the phone
- Data is there to be shared, not to exist in silos
- The community has an ever-growing expectation that data is integrated
- The data available to the government departments in Victoria is highly valuable, now it’s time to decide how to use it for the public’s benefit
There will be a new website launched – Vic Emergency which will provide a single point of call for information on floods and fires. The site is expected to go live at the end of this calendar year (2013).
There was also much discussion on the new VINE service – Victorian Information Network for Emergencies. VINE has already been showcased in New York, where the feedback was that Victoria will be leading the world in emergency services management when VINE is fully implemented. Further information on VINE can be found here.
All in all, we think the next few months will be an exciting time for the various departments who will be implementing these changes. We’re excited to see how VINE progresses.