The Parliament of NSW
When NovaWorks first met with The Parliament of New South Wales, they quickly learned the significant challenges their new client was facing. A vote in parliament meant four separate departments all recorded the same vote without talking to each other. The legacy systems hadn’t been upgraded for 15 years, meaning engagement with citizens was manual and paper based. Votes were counted using a paper-based checkbox system, creating silos and silos of data, all stored in disparate systems.
It was time to go online.
Why did The Parliament approach us?
The Parliament of New South Wales approached NovaWorks because they knew they were experts in government solutions, with a long-term track record in delivering complex, transformational solutions to other government agencies and parliaments.
What did we recommend?
NovaWorks approached the challenge in two ways. The first was to digitise parliament’s processes. The second was to create a single source of truth.
NovaWorks created a common portal to kickstart the digitisation program, enabling parliamentary staff to manage all their business processes. To boost transparency and information for members of the public, NovaWorks also encouraged The Parliament of New South Wales to publish more information on their external website. They also took full advantage of implementing modules from the eParliament portal, which helped them to launch ePetitions, eSubmissions and committee submissions, as well as exploring new ways to present decades of historical records, dating as far back as 1850.
Creating a single source of truth was made possible by reducing the risk of data duplication, and cutting down the possibility of accidentally mishandling data. NovaWorks did this by removing the data silos, and implementing a database and document repository, which could then be used by multiple departments and business areas across parliament.
What were the outcomes?
The process was made smoother thanks to NovaWorks’ 17 years’ experience working with Parliaments, their ability to understand complex data, and a team that formulated data migration plans for multiple systems, disparate platforms, differing data structures and unlinked doc repositories into a single, cohesive source. NovaWorks also listened to the needs of The Parliament of New South Wales, to understand what was achievable while keeping their vision in mind.
The strategy paid off. The new applications enabled The Parliament of New South Wales to govern effectively during rapidly changing COVID-19 restrictions. A key benefit during the pandemic was for Members to continue to vote on propositions and legislation, despite lockdowns, enabling them to serve the needs of citizens.
A significant, and much needed benefit has been to increase the speed of voting. 200 members of Parliament can now cast their vote in under five minutes, when it used to take 20. This frees up 50 hours of time each year to work on important issues rather than a process: a win for New South Wales’ citizens and Members.
Welcome to modernity!
A New South Wales’ MP Jamie Parker recorded his pleasure with the new systems, tweeting about the change with a hashtag #progress. “For the first time in 164 years votes in the parliament will no longer be recorded on paper but in an app on a hand held device.”
The Speaker of the Legislative Assembly, Parliament of New South Wales, added: “We’ve now moved into the new century!”