We check projects against the following objectives of the fund:
- Does the project contribute to the delivery of the Premier’s Priorities?
- Does the project contribute to outcome budgeting plans (OBPs)?
- Is it aligned with the NSW Customer & Digital strategy?
- Is it in cluster ten and three-year plans?
- What are the primary and secondary financial benefits of doing the project? (revenue, cost, and time savings)
- Will any jobs be created as part of the project or because of the project?
- When will intended benefits/ value be realised?
- Will this project involve multi-agency/ cluster collaboration?
- How many customers will directly benefit from this project?
- How many regional customers, Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander customers or people living with a disability in NSW benefit?
- How robust is your evidence?
- What is the impact of not receiving funding in this financial year?
- What are the risks in your project?
- Are there any relevant legislative requirements?
This information is collected through the Digital Restart Fund – Prioritisation Tool.
The Digital Restart Fund Prioritisation Tool is a self-service platform that allows clusters to submit and prioritise their projects for the Digital Restart Fund pipeline.
In the digital tool, you can:
- Create a new project in a draft environment to test alignment to priorities
- Add new projects to the pipeline to be assessed and prioritised by the Digital Restart Fund Working Group
- Search for existing projects, review progress or provide updates directly within the tool
Digital Restart Fund Cluster representatives are responsible for managing the data provided by their cluster. If you require direct access to the Prioritisation Tool, please contact your Digital Restart Fund Cluster Representative, who can approve and put you forward for access and training. Once you have been approved, please email a copy of the approval along with your name, cluster/agency, role and access request details to the Digital Restart Fund Team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The current cluster representatives and their contact details can be viewed here.
New funding rules for future projects under the additional $500 million DRF
In June 2021, an additional $500 million was invested into the Digital Restart Fund, extending the fund a further year to 2024. As a result, the DRF steering committee approved the following changes to the funding rules:
- Projects that cost more than $5 million are now capped at $20 million. (ERC may distribute larger proportions of funding to specific projects on a case-by-case basis).
- If the total cost of your project is higher than its applicable cap, your cluster will need to co-contribute to make up for the remaining balance or seek an alternative source of funds.
- Requests for additional seed funding (through Lean Business Cases) for the same project can’t be greater than $10 million.
- There is an additional $75 million allocated to cyber funding. This money is prioritised for independent clusters and small agencies to uplift cyber security maturity.
- All whole of Government projects must be supported by business cases agreed by the Department of Customer Service (for example state digital asset projects).
These new rules apply to all business cases submitted from the pipeline for December 2021 quarter intake. Some transition rules agreed by DRF Steering Committee will be applied to projects being submitted at the September 2021 quarter intake given the advanced state of business case preparation and assurance.
Each category of the fund is weighted against varying customer impacts and risks. The weighting will be updated based on learnings from each round of reviews. We used these weightings in the November 2020 process.
The fund also aims to fund projects evenly across all categories. After weighting, distribution between categories and clusters is also reviewed.
How the final project list (pipeline) is created
In collaboration with key clusters, the Digital Restart Fund Working Group works extensively to:
- Finalise project numbers and details
- Agree on project ranking in terms of strategic alignment, value to the state and customer outcomes.
- Review project risks and ease of implementation of the projects
We then present the pipeline to the Customer Service Council, the Public Service Commission and the ICT and Digital Leadership Group to ensure that any new projects are considered when prioritising the list.
This stage is not an approval for projects to receive funding. Instead, the pipeline prioritisation process indicates to clusters they can now spend the time and effort in developing their business cases.
We can then share the results of this back to the project owner and update the pipeline. Projects will either be approved to proceed to the business case stage with or without changes or rejected with a reason provided.
Projects that do not make it into the pipeline
If the decision to reject a project is made, we will keep your project data, allowing you to update the proposal and resubmit it if the reason for rejection allows this.
In some cases, projects may be given a lower priority than others in the pipeline. Due to limited funds within the Digital Restart Fund, not all projects that meet the eligibility criteria and objectives will be funded at the same time.
How well projects score against other projects submitted through the pipeline process will impact their ability to proceed to the investment prioritisation stage. In turn, all resubmitted projects will go through the pipeline process again.
The pipeline will be reviewed every quarter and new submissions will be accepted annually. Please contact Ramesh Murthy to find out about the next pipeline prioritisation process.