NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment Case Study

About DPIE

The NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment (DPIE) was set up to serve the people of NSW, by developing smart ways to support innovative and prosperous industries, enrich their citizen’s lives and make NSW a great place to live and work. They help to provide homes and services, build great communities, create jobs and protect the environment.

The Challenge

The Environment, Energy and Science (EES) Group is part of the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment. The EES Group brings together a range of functions including national park management, biodiversity and conservation, climate change, sustainability, resilience and adaptation, renewable energy and energy security, waste management and resource recovery, and environment protection and mine safety regulation. The work of the group is supported by centres of excellence in: science; policy and strategy; and data analytics and insights.

As a part of its services, EES administers a number of funding programs and initiatives as well as being the recipient of funding for specific projects.

EES manages a range of grant funding programs in excess of $120 million per year. These are a mix of competitive and non-competitive grants across various programs with the current processes being inconsistent across the different grant programs.

A number of limitations were identified in the current grant application, approval and management processes (and associated business systems) with these processes relying heavily on manual data entry and manual reporting processes. The ability to update, access and report on information was very constrained within the current business system and the extent and type of information able to be captured also limits the reporting capacity and sophistication that would be expected (i.e. spatial reporting). This presented a significant constraint in reporting on grant programs as well as day to day management of grant projects.

Furthermore, the current experience for applicants, grantees and other stakeholders was less than optimal as a result of inefficient information sharing which is done through spreadsheets, word documents and network drives. This translated into unnecessary duplication of effort by both external stakeholders and departmental staff.

The Solution

F1 Solutions proposed their OmniStar Grants platform running on Amazon Web Services (AWS) and compliant with industry, state and federal standards to deliver on DPIE’s vision.

OmniStar Grants was selected as the Grants Management System for all EES’s programs facilitating the creation, processing and storage of grant applications, post-award process such as agreement and variations, milestone reporting and approvals.

Over the course of 12 months, the GMS was designed, developed and deployed in early 2019. The project included a creation of over twenty tailored reports, automation of previously manual processes, twenty SmartForms, penetration/security testing and training. Post go-live services were also provided by F1 Solutions which included an outsourced help desk service, performance reporting, product support and training.

The benefits for DPIE

Streamlined processes

The efficiency of OmniStar Grants coupled with streamlined and consistent business processes freed up significant staff resources as previous time-consuming tasks are now automated.

Improved grantee experience

The efficiencies gained in staff productivity enabled departmental staff to focus more on grantee and prospective grantee experience which brought optimum benefit to grant funding programs.

Created with Lunacy

Business process support

Communication capabilities, change audits and real-time dashboard reporting support DPIE’s business processes more effectively.

Complete compliance

More flexible and powerful system audits and granular optics ensure the organisation is fully compliant and meets its probity criteria in grant allocation and financial management. This ensures effective reporting on grant program outcomes are made available.

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