Establishing the SA Data Sharing Framework (2016 – mid 2018)
Once the Public Sector Data Sharing Act 2016 was assented there was a period of time needed to 'operationalise' the changes set out in the Act. This included the establishment of the Office for Data Analytics and the appointment of a Chief Data Officer. To facilitate and govern data sharing, data sharing templates were developed in conjunction with the Crown Solicitors Office. A data portal was developed for receipt of Government data.
The Vulnerable Children’s Project (VCP) (2016 – 2020)
The Vulnerable Children’s Project (VCP) was South Australia’s first multi-agency integrated data project. The project facilitated information sharing between agencies to provide front-line workers and decision makers with a fuller, more complete picture of South Australia’s vulnerable children and their families. The aim of the VCP was to assist the South Australian government to meet its commitments to the Child Protection Systems Royal Commission Report, 'The Life They Deserve'. Due to the involvement of multiple agencies, it was the pioneer project for sharing data under the Public Sector (Data Sharing) Act 2016.
During 2016-17 the Department of Premier and Cabinet (DPC) led a proof of concept endorsed by Cabinet. The proof of concept was endorsed by the steering committee for the project on the 7th of April 2017, which marked the commencement of the project.
The key project aim is to integrate operational child protection data with data from other government agencies to provide a comprehensive view of the cumulative risk profile of vulnerable children to assist the Child Abuse Report Line (CARL) decision making at strategic and operational levels. This operational data was presented in the form of a near real-time dashboard – the Key Integrated Data System (KIDS) Dashboard, which was to be used by the CARL practitioners in their day to day operations. The KIDS Dashboard features integrated, secure data from across government that, when consolidated in the Dashboard, provides a view of a child’s family and life.
This project also provided analytic and research support to the Early Intervention Research Directorate (EIRD), in particular, an integrated dataset to support policy and decision making.
The VCP built the state government’s capacity to collaborate on complex issues and highlighted the use of data as a public resource to improve child protection services, programs and policies.
Further improvements are being made to the KIDS dashboard under the auspices of the Vulnerable Families Management System Project.
Following the extreme weather event of September – October 2016 an Independent Review was commissioned by the South Australian Government to consider the adequacy of the States prevention, preparedness, response, and recovery plans. As a result of these recommendations, SA Health established a project in collaboration with South Australian Power Network (SAPN) and Red Cross to address the recommendations to ensure the resilience of vulnerable persons within the community who are dependent on power.
Energy4Life is an initiative of the Office for Data Analytics to consolidate SAPN information (such as critical care consumers, and feeds of power outages) for access by SA Health in order to coordinate a response with Red Cross to provide services to power dependent consumers. For example, a person on a dialysis machine could be at risk without power for a long period. Energy4Life prompts SA Health to log in to the system for more information on an outage and provide Red Cross with details of people at risk who need assistance.
Energy4Life accesses data on power outages from the SAPN website every 30 minutes. It provides information on power outages of both long and short durations, but only matches residents to suburbs undergoing power outages of 12 hours or more.
This system allows for assistance to be provided to vulnerable persons within the community by consolidating available data about power outages and critical care consumers and providing this to SA Health to take action.
Information Sharing Guidelines (ISGs) (2018 - onwards)
In 2008, Information Sharing Guidelines (ISGs) for promoting the safety and well-being of children, young people and their families were developed as part of the South Australian Government's Keeping Them Safe child protection reform agenda. The ISG’s define a process for information sharing to protect vulnerable citizens; the guidelines apply to both government and non-government organisations in South Australia. In 2013, Cabinet directed that the scope of the ISG be broadened from its purely child protection focus, to include information sharing for all vulnerable people, including all adults irrespective of their status as parents or caregivers. The state government has authorised the ISGs, directing that the guidelines be implemented throughout the public sector and by relevant non-government organisations.
The SA Principal Advisor Information Sharing position initially reported to the Guardian for Children and Young People (2009 to 2013) and then to the South Australia Ombudsman (2013 to 2018). From 1 July 2018, the ISG function and adviser relocated to DPC within the Office for Data Analytics to centralise information and data sharing advice and coordination within one office.
Since their inception in 2008, there has been inconsistency in ISGs implementation by agencies and organisations. In April 2018, the South Australian Ombudsman published a comprehensive review into ISG compliance by relevant South Australian Government agencies. The audit found that significant work was still required to truly embed the ISG within all agencies and that there was a clear public interest in doing so. ODA undertook a program of work to address certain ISG issues and aimed to update the ISG’s and related resources, provide advice and support to agencies and organisations, and establish and oversee a multi-agency network of expert information sharing practitioners across state government agencies.
Emergency Management Situational Awareness for Emergencies I (SAFE I) (2019 – 2020)
The Emergency Management project aimed to link real time data from various sources (both government systems and external systems) and provide this data in the form of a single, centralised dashboard for use by emergency response agencies. This dashboard was referred to as SAFE I, or the Common Operating Picture (COP) and by project closure, provided a near-real time view to be used at by the State Emergency Centre for bush-fires. SAFE I was the first iteration of this product, which is now being redeveloped and built upon in the current SAFE II project to expand the use of the tool to other control agencies for other emergencies.
The need for this project was driven by the siloed nature of emergency management agencies, with information often managed in stand alone systems in various formats. Without a central repository or single system to collate the various information feeds and intelligence sources, the full operating picture is often hard to visualise.
The collection and display of the data from multiple agencies (such as DPTI, DEW, and PIRSA) as well as data from external entities (such as the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM), telecommunication organisations, and energy operators) allowed for increased efficiency and enhanced confidence and decision making at times of emergency, as well as an overall improvement in the State’s capability to respond to emergencies.