A Million Square Metres in Three Months: NSW Department of Justice

The NSW Department of Justice is responsible for enacting the law across the entire state to provide a safe and just NSW. Corrective services, jails, courts, emergency services, and police departments all fall under its responsibility. In addition, it feeds into public policy by advising government policy, implementing crime-reduction programs, and supporting victims and monitoring offenders.

Minimal Visibility of Transparency

However, the Department didn’t have a central management system for its floor-plans and locations, meaning that answering questions about the $4.5 billion asset portfolio was inefficient, planning was nearly impossible, and the department had no visibility over what it owned or how much it needed to spend to keep its facilities running. The assets it owned were also extremely diverse and complex, and run by different business clusters. The Department needed to dissolve the silos that blocked a holistic view of their asset situation.

Due to the sensitive nature of this work, their buildings and assets are sometimes highly secure, restricted, or dangerous, which presents a challenge when detailed information about the condition, maintenance, and repairability is needed. The Department needed a record of its asset portfolio, and the condition that it was in within three months to meet planning deadlines.

Correctional Complex

Correctional Complex

Rapid Deployment

We quickly trained and organised teams to collect the data from high-security areas, like active courts, jails, and corrective centres. All in all, we covered a million square metres of property in three months. To make data gathering easier in future, we also tagged assets using RFID tags. All that data was uploaded to our lifecycle planning platform, which listed details like capital expenditure, operational expenditure and maintenance liability.

This allowed the Department of Justice to achieve data currency by quantifying all its asset data in the state and uploading it to our lifecycle platform, meaning the Department has improved transparency across all parts of their courts, correction centres, and buildings.

Turning Data into Value

The Department has since begun incorporating cost, risk, and performance data into their operational and capital expenditure contracts, giving them greater insight into its annual capital and maintenance liability. It can now re-negotiate contracts for upkeep across their portfolio, based on an accurate model from the intelligence provided by the AssetFuture platform.

By accurately collecting data in dangerous and sensitive areas, then keeping that data secure while using it to model and guide the future, The Department of Justice is transitioning from a reactive, defective maintenance model to a proactive, strategic model of asset management, meaning better results for the Department and the taxpayers of the state.

Ushering In The Future of QLD Asset Intelligence

Developing a future vision for the intelligent use of asset data for the Queensland Government.

Advance Queensland’s goal is to realise the state’s vision for the future. The government has allocated $512 million to fund innovative programs, build natural advantages, and discover new solutions to old problems.

AssetFuture entered a competitive pitch with multiple government agencies and was selected to receive the Small Business Innovation Research grant to find innovative ways that the Queensland Government could manage its $270 million portfolio into the future, and utilise the data to create value. The solution had to catalogue and analyse millions of assets, clearly format the information, and provide transparency across the entire government asset portfolio to plan work, combine resources, and simplify the management process.

Innovating State Asset Solutions

We combined our discovery work with our experience with other government agencies like TAFE, Premier and Cabinet, Health, and DET and used a design thinking methodology to list and meet the needs of users across government. In workshops with the Departments of Justice, Education, and Housing and Public Works, we understood, defined, and documented user needs, challenges and requirements.

We found differences in data storage, like naming convention and inputs and different methods of managing asset information. Departments lacked a consistent forecast of capital expenditure and operational expenditure, and so struggled to accurately allocate funding to each business department. Finally, the Departments needed transparency on their asset portfolios to plan major works, avoid clashes in resources, and save money by combining work on similar projects.

Steps to Asset Intelligence

We then assembled a roadmap of actions, enhancements, new tools, and future goals for a solution that will serve the entire government. The first steps are:

  • Standardised data entry with clear labels

  • An HTML reporting engine built to process data for all Queensland Government users

  • An automated scripting solution to find existing data gaps

  • A dashboard to access and interpret data

  • Mapping of the assets and their location

  • Data mapping to systems, including Ellipse and SAP

  • Development of a mobile app to gather data from all employee devices

Once the Queensland Government has built a usable database of asset data, it can find insights and make strategic decisions with new technologies like:

  • Usable Intelligence models

  • Application of Artificial Intelligence to asset degradation

  • Integration with Business Impact Modelling, which allows planning during new property construction

  • Connection to other tools like Power BI and Tableau

Future State

By following this roadmap, Queensland State Government will benefit from increased transparency across departments, which leads to savings in purchasing and procuring of work. It will also improve how the work happens by improving the planning and management of workflow. And most importantly, agencies can now combine maintenance and repair jobs, and plan and distribute them to smaller contractors in region, supporting job creation throughout regional Queensland.