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This objective pursues policy, service and administration excellence and reform. It leads the public sector response to significant state issues, policy challenges and projects. It supports the effective administration of government and the delivery of policy and projects that enable increased productivity and competitiveness in Victoria.

DPC’s outcomes on the following key initiatives have helped us achieve the ‘Strong policy outcomes’ strategic objective.

Provide support for core government systems and activities vital to the Victorian response to, and recovery from, the COVID-19 pandemic

COVID-19 communications evolved throughout 2021–22 to promote self-protective decision making, supporting public health orders and integration with COVID-19 advertising campaigns.

Behavioural insights were further applied to communications and campaigns to encourage individuals and communities to take proactive steps to protect themselves and others against COVID-19, and to adhere to public health measures.

COVID-19 communications continued to ensure consistency of message, reinforced accessibility requirements, advocated for in-language communications for First Nations and culturally diverse audiences, and facilitated collaboration across departments to ensure coronavirus.vic.gov.auExternal Link remained the central source of COVID-19 information.

The Public Sector Administration Committee (PSAC) met regularly during 2021–22 to consider a range of issues connected with ensuring the public service could continue to deliver core services through the pandemic.

PSAC coordinated advice to the Emergency Management Commissioner at the beginning of 2022 on risks to critical services in the face of rising COVID-19 case numbers due to the emergence of the Omicron variant. PSAC has been a central coordination point for developing and implementing the Victorian public service (VPS) approach to flexible working, including on matters such as COVIDSafe workspaces, staff wellbeing and vaccination policy.

Suburban Hubs have been established to support flexible and remote working for VPS staff. The Health, Safety and Wellbeing team provided audit and COVIDSafe compliance support to the project team while establishing and opening the hubs.

Supporting the government’s response to COVID-19

DPC has continued to support government decision making on Victoria’s approach to COVID-19 management, including at National Cabinet. DPC played a key role in coordinating and delivering strategic communications in year 2 of the pandemic and has worked with departments to provide advice on significant policy changes throughout 2021–22. The key COVID-19 measures that DPC supported throughout 2021–22 included: delivering COVID-19 vaccinations; implementing the Victorian vaccinated economy; changing quarantine requirements for international arrivals; delivering rapid antigen tests through testing sites, schools and early childhood education and care services; and continued engagement and support for at-risk and priority communities.

Throughout the year DPC continued to collaborate with the Department of Health (DH) to deliver equitable access to vaccinations for all eligible Victorians, particularly with the increased availability of booster doses in late 2021. Extension of state sites in early 2022 ensured Victorians had safe, efficient and easy access to vaccines as soon as they were eligible. Over time the vaccination program transitioned to be predominantly delivered through primary care settings, with Victoria continuing targeted engagement and outreach to support vaccination for at-risk and priority communities.

DPC worked closely with COVID-19 Quarantine Victoria and the Commonwealth Government to deliver the Victorian Quarantine Hub, which started accepting residents from February 2022 and provides a safe place for community members to self-isolate or quarantine.

DPC collaborated with DH to implement Victoria’s new pandemic management framework under Part 8A of the Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008. DPC briefed the Premier to consider making and extending the pandemic declaration and helped prepare reports to parliament as a key measure to promote transparency and accountability in relation to the government’s COVID-19 response. The reports are tabled in parliament and publish the Premier’s statement of reasons for making or extending a pandemic declaration. They also include advice from the Chief Health Officer and the Minister for Health in respect of the making or extending of the pandemic declaration. They summarise pandemic orders made, the public health risk powers and pandemic management powers exercised and the reasons for exercising those powers.

Supporting the Victorian Government to deliver improved health outcomes for Victorians in the context of unprecedented challenges

Working closely with DH, DPC plays a key role in ensuring the Victorian health system is prepared and supported to manage fluctuations in demand, including COVID-19 demand, across the state. This year DPC continued to provide advice to government on the investment and responses needed to respond to COVID-19, including supporting significant investments in workforce, hospital-based and primary care, critical infrastructure and equipment.

DPC has also worked closely with DH to support the recovery of Victoria’s health system — for example, the Victorian Government’s COVID Catch-Up Plan to address non-urgent surgery that had been deferred due to the pandemic.

In 2021–22 DPC continued to work closely with the Department of Treasury and Finance and other departments to support the government’s economic recovery following COVID-19. This included advising on budget and fiscal strategy, industry recovery, employment, consumer affairs, local government, transport policy and infrastructure delivery. DPC also supported the Premier in the annual State Budget process and in implementing budget efficiency initiatives. Since the onset of COVID-19, DPC has actively supported the Victorian Government to identify and implement measures to assist businesses and individuals affected financially by the pandemic.

Advocate for Victoria’s interests in intergovernmental forums, including supporting the Premier at National Cabinet

In 2021–22 DPC led the provision of advice to the Premier and senior departmental officials to support their participation in a high volume of formal intergovernmental meetings. In the 12-month period DPC supported and coordinated strategic advice for more than 90 intergovernmental meetings. The highest number of meetings took place in the period from July 2021 to March 2022. Issues included vaccine rollout and implementation of the national plan for transitioning Australia’s response to COVID-19. This addressed recovery and financial measures to support workers and businesses.

DPC also provided strategic policy advice and collaborated across government to support the negotiation of key National Cabinet reform matters and priority portfolio agreements. These covered health, education and energy, maintaining a focus on Victorian priorities and maximising benefits to the Victorian community. In total, DPC helped negotiate more than 20 agreements including multilateral and bilateral Mental Health Agreements, Public Dental Services for Adults and the National Plan to End Violence against Women and Children.

Ensure strategic decision-makers are supported in their efforts to strengthen the disaster resilience and security of all Victorians, including through implementing the recommendations of state and national reviews and inquiries

Through coordination and collaboration with all Victorian Government departments, DPC has continued to strengthen emergency management arrangements and to support a strong reform agenda in response to several reviews and inquiries. These included the Inspector-General for Emergency Management (IGEM) Inquiry into the 2019–20 Victorian Fire Season, IGEM’s Review of 10 Years of Reform in the Emergency Management Sector, the COVID-19 Hotel Quarantine Inquiry and the ESTA Capability and Service Review. DPC, in partnership with Emergency Management Victoria, also continues to work with other jurisdictions through the Australia–New Zealand Emergency Management Committee to strengthen disaster resilience.

Further in 2021–22 DPC supported national counterterrorism reforms through the Australia–New Zealand Counter-Terrorism Committee. DPC also supported reforms to tackle the early warning signs of radicalisation and violent and extremist behaviour, delivering on recommendations of the Expert Panel on Terrorism and Violent Extremism Prevention and Response Powers. DPC continued to provide protective security measures for government personnel and its information and physical assets through coordinating VPS personnel vetting and the Member of Parliament Protective Security Program.

Support the Victorian Government to deliver critical social policy reforms, including recommendations from the Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System, continuing to strengthen the VET system, justice reforms, and continuing the rollout of Three-Year-Old Kindergarten

DPC has continued to support landmark social policy reforms through providing a whole of government lens to ensure their successful implementation.

In 2021–22 DPC continued to support implementation of reforms across the justice system, including helping to progress legislation to transform financial assistance for victims of crime, with the existing Victims of Crime Assistance Tribunal set to be replaced with an administrative Financial Assistance Scheme built around the needs of victims and aiming to minimise trauma. DPC also supported development of the government response to the Parliamentary Inquiry into Historical Forced Adoption in Victoria, with work underway to design Australia’s first redress scheme for historical forced adoption practices and administer an exceptional circumstances fund. DPC also continued to support work to modernise Victoria’s youth justice system via oversight of the new youth justice facility, Cherry Creek, which is set to open in mid-2023. DPC also continued to support work to modernise Victoria’s youth justice system via oversight of the new youth justice facility, Cherry Creek, which is set to open in mid-2023.

In partnership with DH, DPC has continued to support a coordinated government response to the Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System. In the year since the final report was tabled, work has begun on more than 90% of the Royal Commission’s 74 recommendations to lay the foundations for Victoria’s future mental health system.

Key achievements in 2021–22 include introducing the new Mental Health and Wellbeing Bill into the Victorian Parliament, releasing the Mental Health and Wellbeing Workforce Strategy 2021–2024 and Victoria signing the National Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Agreement. DPC also continues to work with DH to facilitate government-wide decision making to improve the mental health and wellbeing system, including a Mental Health and Wellbeing Cabinet Committee, a Mental Health and Wellbeing Victorian Secretaries’ Board Committee, a Suicide Prevention and Response Victorian Secretaries’ Board Committee and an interdepartmental Committee on Mental Health and Wellbeing Promotion.

DPC continued to play a key role in supporting the design and delivery of major education and training reforms in 2021–22. In the past year, DPC worked closely with the Department of Education and Training (DET) to strengthen the training and skills system, including:

  • helping establish the Victorian Skills Authority to respond to Victoria’s training needs
  • supporting the introduction of a new TAFE funding model to strengthen Victoria’s economic and social recovery and improve the sector’s financial sustainability
  • progressing the Senior School Pathways Reform agenda to provide greater vocational and applied learning opportunities for school students.

During 2021–22 DPC continued to support DET’s implementation of universal funded three-year-old kindergarten. The reform has progressed according to the public rollout schedule, and in 2022 all services across the state are delivering at least 5 hours of funded three-year-old kindergarten each week. Further, DPC informed the design and ongoing implementation of the newly announced Best Start, Best Life agenda, which will overhaul early childhood education and care in Victoria including making kindergarten free from 2023 and introducing a new year of universal Pre-Prep for 4-year-olds.

Support the successful delivery of the Victorian Government’s Big Housing Build to help increase the state’s social housing supply by 10% in 4 years and support Victorians in need

DPC continues to support the work of Homes Victoria in delivering the Big Housing Build, including through key governance forums and ongoing engagement in policy reform to enable system improvements. DPC co-chairs the Housing Interdepartmental Committee, supporting coordinated discussion of housing policy issues across government, and is a member of a range of other governance forums across the housing portfolio. DPC will continue to support regular reporting on delivering the Big Housing Build to the Victorian Government, to support appropriate oversight and monitoring of this generational reform to the social housing system.

In 2021–22 DPC provided strong policy advice and administration to support Cabinet, parliament, legislation, Executive Council and ministerial correspondence matters. This included guidance and support for the Premier and DPC ministers, as well as across all departments and the ministry where needed, as well as for the Governor in relation to Executive Council matters.

Provide behavioural science capability to all Victorian Government departments to support the delivery of behaviourally informed programs and services

Throughout 2021–22 the Behavioural Insights Unit provided advice and research support and delivered projects across a range of policies and services. This included the uptake of grant initiatives, enhancing the accessibility of forms and website communications and improving internal government processes such as procurement and recruitment activity.

The Behavioural Insights Unit also continued to support departments and agencies to understand the likely impact of policies and programs on Victorians’ behaviours in relation to COVID-19. The unit used international evidence to support effective implementation of policies, programs and communications for COVID-19–related requirements, including getting vaccinated, mask wearing and other COVIDSafe behaviours.

Provide central media relations, communications, advertising and research governance advisory services to Victorian departments and stakeholders in relation to private and ministerial offices

DPC’s Strategic Communications, Engagement and Protocol Branch delivered a range of products and services including speeches, media releases, internal communications and events, video production, photography and live streaming throughout 2021–22. It also fulfilled its key role of coordinating and delivering COVID-19 strategic communications.

As part of its strategic governance and central advisory role for all government advertising campaigns, DPC:

  • ensured adherence to the Victorian Government Communication Guidelines and relevant legislation
  • supported the consistent development of campaign creative and media buying across government
  • provided strategic advice on communicating with diverse and regional audiences
  • led coordinated communications for COVID-19 policies and projects to ensure a consistent and cohesive approach across government.

DPC’s dedicated media team provided media and communications support to the department. In 2021–22 the team:

  • developed whole of government media protocols for enquiries on the Yoorrook Justice Commission
  • led on support for major ministerial announcements around Treaty negotiations with the First Peoples’ Assembly of Victoria
  • supported a partnership between Digital Victoria and Code Like a Girl
  • supported the role of the Service Victoria app in the state’s COVID-19 response.

DPC developed and delivered communication strategies to support campaigns and announcements including the Recognition Matters campaign, the Diversity on Boards campaign and VPS-wide COVID-19–related internal communications and announcements. Products included more than 115 videos covering content including on the State Budget, NAIDOC Week live events and milestones such as the path to Treaty, Truth and Justice for First Peoples in Victoria.

DPC’s Protocol and Events team provided strategic advice and oversight of the protocol policies and functions of government and delivered numerous events, visits and meetings including Australia Day public events and programs; the ANZAC Day State Luncheon; facilitation support for the QUAD Foreign Ministers’ Meeting and Commonwealth Games Federation delegation visit; and significant ceremonial events including the State Memorial Services for Victoria Police and Mr Shane Warne AO.

Support strong policy outcomes for First Peoples by driving whole of government policy and reform in the Treaty and First Peoples portfolio

In 2021–22 DPC, primarily through the First Peoples–State Relations group, continued to drive both whole of government and internal Aboriginal affairs policy and reform in partnership with First Peoples. A key milestone was establishing the DPC Board of Management Subcommittee on Self-Determination Reform. The subcommittee has an advisory role and supports DPC to progress significant reform underway in the Treaty and First Peoples portfolio such as progressing treaty; responding to and supporting the Yoorrook Justice Commission; leading whole of government reform under the National Agreement on Closing the Gap and the Victorian Aboriginal Affairs Framework 2018–2023 (VAAF); and promoting cultural rights. The subcommittee also performs a key role in improving internal systems, policies and processes to enable self-determination.

In March 2022 DPC, in partnership with the Department of Justice and Community Safety, set up the landmark $155 million Stolen Generations Reparations Package. The package is testament to the strength of Stolen Generations and their families, who have long fought for justice. To ensure the package was developed for and by Stolen Generation survivors, DPC established the community-led Stolen Generations Reparations Steering Committee to lead engagement on the package’s design. Assessment of applications is underway, with some advance payments to people who are terminally or critically ill. DPC will continue to work alongside the Department of Justice and Community Safety to ensure the package meets community expectations.

DPC is driving preparation across government to support Victoria’s ongoing treaty process. To build capability for this critical work, DPC is engaging with Victorian Government departments and agencies to ensure government is ready to respond to the transformational change that treaty is expected to bring. This includes a Treaty Interdepartmental Committee of senior representatives and a working-level network of Treaty Coordinators from each government department to facilitate whole of government engagement.

Support the delivery of energy, climate change and environmental priorities

In 2021–22 DPC supported the Premier, departments (including the departments of Environment, Land, Water and Planning and Jobs, Precincts and Regions) and government entities in delivering the government’s energy, resources and environment commitments including:

  • launching the second Victorian Renewable Energy Target Auction to bring online at least 600 megawatts of new renewable energy capacity in Victoria
  • steps to establish Australia’s first offshore wind industry including through the announcement of offshore wind targets of 2 gigawatts (GW) by 2032, 4GW by 2035 and 9GW by 2040
  • securing the future of gas in Victoria by remaking the Petroleum Regulations 2021 to safely govern the onshore conventional gas sector and developing the Gas Substitution Roadmap to guide the transition to sustainable gas alternatives and greater electrification
  • supporting Victorian energy consumers through the extension of the $250 Power Saving Bonus for concession card holders until 30 June 2022 and eligibility expansion of the payment to all Victorian households from 1 July 2022
  • introducing legislation to reform governance arrangements for Victoria’s alpine sector, including establishing the new statutory authority, Alpine Resorts Victoria
  • supporting the release of the Marine and Coastal Strategy, Victoria’s first 5-year implementation plan to support sustainable use and improve how marine and coastal environments are managed
  • continuing to support circular economy reforms including introducing Recycling Victoria as the new waste and recycling sector regulator and developing Victoria’s Container Deposit Scheme.

Support delivery of the government’s infrastructure program

In 2021–22 DPC continued to work with the Department of Transport and the Major Transport Infrastructure Authority on many of the major transport projects in construction including the Level Crossing Removal Project, Metro Tunnel Project, North East Link Project, West Gate Tunnel Project and multiple road upgrades. The government has 165 major road and rail projects being constructed or planned at an investment of $90 billion and the creation of more than 18,000 jobs. DPC has also continued to work across government in supporting the Suburban Rail Loop Authority to progress the Suburban Rail Loop project.

DPC worked with partners across government and, in particular, the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning to introduce new planning pathways for state projects including establishing the State Project Concierge service.

Support to establish Breakthrough Victoria and administration of the Victorian Jobs and Investment Fund

In 2021–22 DPC has:

  • supported the establishment and early operation of Breakthrough Victoria Pty Ltd as a government-owned company to administer the $2 billion Breakthrough Victoria Fund. This fund is supporting research and technology commercialisation in the health and life sciences, digital technology, advanced manufacturing, agri-food and clean economy sectors to deliver economic and societal outcomes and grow jobs
  • administered the Victorian Jobs and Investment Fund, a whole of government framework that governs investment attraction programs across multiple departments. In 2021–22 the fund helped secure more than 3,800 new jobs and over $850 million in new investment.

Support the efficient operation of markets and appropriate consumer protections

DPC has worked with the departments of Justice and Community Safety and Treasury and Finance to improve the design of government regulation to protect consumers while minimising costs on businesses and the community. In 2021–22 this included changes to casino regulation in response to the Royal Commission into the Casino Operator and Licence, establishing new gambling and liquor regulators, decriminalising sex work in Victoria, adopting an automatic mutual recognition scheme for occupational licences and various projects funded through the Regulatory Reform Incentive Fund.

Support engagement with international partners to improve investment, trade and other whole of government outcomes

DPC has worked across government in 2021–22 to further Victoria’s international engagement objectives by:

  • supporting whole of government cooperation with key international partners to promote trade, investment and cultural and education ties that benefit Victorians, including facilitating engagement between the diplomatic community and Victorian leaders including the Premier and Governor
  • collaborating with Asia Society Australia and the Australia-India Institute to enhance Victoria’s connections to, engagement with and knowledge of Asia
  • supporting foreign investment through the Victorian Jobs and Investment Fund.

Digital government and communications

Drive digital transformation through a whole of government digital strategy, creating a cohesive and modern approach to ICT and taking a more agile and coordinated approach to funding digital initiatives

Digital Victoria launched the Victorian Government Digital Strategy 2021–2026 in November 2021. The strategy provides a blueprint for how the Victorian Government will accelerate change and invest in the digital infrastructure and skills required to serve the people and businesses of Victoria over the next 5 years. It sets the vision to:

  • enable better, fairer and more accessible services
  • create a digital-ready public sector
  • grow a thriving digital economy.

Digital Victoria has made significant progress in delivering important strategic and foundational activities to ensure transformation efforts focus on what is critical to deliver the vision. This includes the transition to common, connected platforms that reduce complexity and unlock productivity and delivering strategic investment models to coordinate investment in digital services to improve the Victorian citizen experience.

Deliver better customer experiences through insightful design and public engagement, improving trust and participation with the Victorian Government

Engage Victoria is the government’s online consultation platform that enables Victorians to share their ideas and opinions and converse with others on a range of policies, programs, issues and topics relevant to Victoria. In 2021–22 Engage Victoria conducted 208 consultations across all government departments and 8 agencies including Parks Victoria, the Environment Protection Authority and the Major Transport Infrastructure Authority. It received more than 1,064,000 visitors and over 93,000 pieces of feedback on the platform. Victorians took part in many important consultations including the Annual Victoria Police Community Sentiment Survey, shaping Homes Victoria’s new social housing development and contributing to the design of critical transport projects including North East Link and the Suburban Rail Loop.

Digital Victoria has continued to embed human-centred design across government to ensure services align with the needs of Victorians. In 2021–22 the human-centred design website was visited more than 31,400 times and over 2,500 copies of the playbook have been downloaded. Training was delivered to 600 people from 81 government entities and departments from across the VPS.

Implement a cyber security strategy that focuses on the safe and reliable delivery of government services and better protects businesses and the community from the growing threat of cyber crime

Digital Victoria launched Victoria’s Cyber Strategy in September 2021, setting the government’s cyber agenda for the next 5 years. Three outcomes underpin the strategy: the safe and reliable delivery of government services; a cyber safe place to work, live and learn; and creating a vibrant cyber economy.

Throughout 2021–22 Digital Victoria worked with public sector departments and agencies to grow the adoption of baseline security controls and improve protection of government services. To combat email authentication risks Digital Victoria is leading the public sector’s implementation of Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting and Conformance across all departments, agencies and local councils.

Digital Victoria has further contributed to the cyber maturity of Victorian public bodies through the ongoing delivery of cyber security training, programs uplifting cloud security and increasing public sector visibility of Victoria’s mitigation strategy maturity.

Unlock improved service delivery by using data, analytics and artificial intelligence to better identify and understand Victoria’s needs

In 2021–22 the Victorian Centre for Data Insights (VCDI) led data-driven initiatives to improve policy design, service delivery and efficiency across the Victorian Government while ensuring data is used safely, securely, legally and ethically.

VCDI supported the government’s COVID-19 response and recovery activity by enabling rapid reporting and analysis on public health and economic impacts while also accelerating data sharing between Victoria and other Australian jurisdictions through new data sharing policy initiatives.

VCDI expanded its strategic partnerships program, engaging with government departments and agencies on more than 15 initiatives to uplift data analytics, management, governance and strategic and technical capabilities. The program also supported critical government priorities including in the response to the Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System, Regional Economic Development Strategies and Local Jobs First Policy.

Provide open government data to the public in a safe, secure, lawful and ethical way, empowering our public and private sectors to make better decisions and strengthening collaboration with our digital and technology industry

Through the government’s open data portal ( data.vic.gov.auExternal Link ), Digital Victoria has supported the public to search, discover and access Victorian Government data. Vicmap data, Victoria’s foundational spatial data, and data relating to school zones, water fluoridation and real-time train positions, is available from the portal. In 2021–22 the portal saw a record 721,612 sessions, up from 432,729 sessions in the previous year due to public demand for COVID-19 data.

Digital Victoria engaged in extensive VPS and public consultation, finalising its review of the DataVic Access Policy in September 2021. It is expected that an updated Open Data Policy will be released in 2022–23, refreshing the government’s commitment and practice of safely and ethically releasing government data for public reuse.

Digital Victoria also continued to work with citizens and industry to identify opportunities and to promote the government’s open data, including through its sponsorship of GovHack.

Prioritise open and efficient ICT spend and purchasing processes to reduce costs, improve procurement outcomes and support our local small and medium technology enterprises

Digital Victoria has led a number of ICT procurement and investment reform activities throughout 2021–22 to maximise value for the Victorian public sector.

The Victorian Government IT Dashboard ( https://itdashboard.digital.vic.gov.auExternal Link ) was updated quarterly to provide the Victorian public with transparency of government ICT projects with a total value of $1 million or more.

Six State Purchase Contracts with an annual spend of $440 million delivered estimated financial benefits exceeding $100 million. Digital Victoria also began work on developing Digital Marketplace — a centralised online platform for the government to procure ICT and infrastructure more effectively. The Digital Marketplace will simplify and enhance the procurement process for small, local and social businesses to do business with government. A proof of concept was delivered in June 2022. The minimal viable product is now under development.

Create common corporate and public digital platforms across all government departments to improve productivity and staff experience

Digital Victoria continued to modernise departmental processes through the operation and delivery of common platforms that are accessible across government including the Common Corporate Platforms Program, Single Digital Presence (SDP), Digital Public Notices and the whole of government Application Programming Interface (API) Capability Program.

During 2021–22 the Common Corporate Platform program, which focuses on the design and implementation of modern, cloud-based platforms and standardised processes for human capital management, finance and procurement functions, has:

  • established a portfolio governance board
  • developed an implementation roadmap
  • aligned human resources processes across government
  • developed the whole of government platform for human capital management and integrated the first modules — Recruitment, Onboarding, Employee Central and Employee Central Payroll — into the platform.

The SDP program has continued to make it easier for Victorians to find, access, understand and use Victorian Government information. In 2021–22 the program enhanced the platform’s security, safety and reliability, improved its governance and processes, and delivered training programs to uplift capability across government. More than 50 web presences were delivered using SDP in 2021–22, with representation from 7 departments and various other organisations and agencies. More than 500 VPS staff now use the platform’s content management system, and the SDP community of practice continues to evolve and grow with more than 600 registered members. The year also saw more than 300 participants undertake writing for the web sessions, with another 130 attending Google Analytics training — both programs helping to upskill the VPS to deliver improved online experiences.

Digital Victoria’s API Capability Program supported departments and agencies to securely connect their systems and applications to other systems and data sources and to find or update data in real time. During 2021–22 the API program implemented, supported and contributed to critical government priorities including:

  • the state’s COVID-19 emergency response
  • contact tracing API for tracking positive COVID-19 infection spikes
  • integrating systems between Family Safety Victoria, Victoria Police and Court Services Victoria to facilitate data sharing
  • integrating Court Services Victoria’s systems with the Department of Justice and Community Safety.

In addition, the program also built integrations with the Commonwealth Government’s document verification services, which helped determine eligibility for various individual and business grants.

Enhance customer experience with more digital services for Victorians

Service Victoria has continued to modernise, expand and personalise government services in 2021–22.

New services were added to Service Victoria’s website and app, including the Sick Pay Guarantee, Disability Worker Registration Screening, Victorian Travel Voucher Scheme, Seniors Travel vouchers and Get Active Kids vouchers.

More than a billion transactions took place between Victorians and the government, and the Service Victoria app was the most downloaded in the country after being installed on 6.6 million devices.

Service Victoria also played an important role in Victoria’s COVID-19 response, enabling rapid deployment of a range of digital services including supporting Victoria to be the first jurisdiction to help customers add their COVID-19 vaccination certificate to their contact tracing check-ins.

Industrial Relations

Drive cooperative and productive workplace relations in the Victorian public sector by developing and facilitating compliance with the Victorian Government’s industrial relations policy and overseeing the timely and efficient resolution of enterprise bargaining

In 2021–22 DPC’s Industrial Relations Victoria (IRV) provided leadership and support on public sector bargaining matters. This included assisting portfolio departments and agencies to finalise about 80 new public sector enterprise agreements during the transitional period in the lead up to the 1 January 2022 introduction of the new wages policy. IRV, with the Department of Treasury and Finance, led on developing the new wages policy and its implementation.

IRV worked with VPS employers and other stakeholders to develop and publish 35 common practice policies to support the consistent application of the current Victorian Public Service Enterprise Agreement.

Deliver and support policy and legislative reform that contributes to fair, productive and secure Victorian workplaces, including promoting gender pay equity

Following an in-depth review of the Child Employment Act 2003, IRV developed the Child Employment Amendment Bill 2022, which makes amendments to the Act to improve the child employment regulatory framework and strengthen protections for children in the workplace. The Bill received royal assent on 28 June 2022.

IRV has led development of submissions to significant legal proceedings in the past year, advocating for:

  • secure and fair employment in a range of settings
  • increases to the national minimum wage under the Fair Work Commission’s Annual Wage Review process
  • paid family and domestic violence leave
  • a historic minimum wage floor for piece rates in the Horticulture Award.

IRV has also contributed to other whole of government submissions to the Commonwealth and the Fair Work Commission on:

  • supporting fair treatment for Pacific workers through labour mobility initiatives and seasonal worker programs
  • supporting wage increases for aged-care workers in recognition of the increased complexity and responsibility of their work and historical gendered undervaluing.

IRV’s submission supporting a minimum wage floor for piece rates in the Horticulture Award was published in April 2022. The Fair Work Commission made a historic change to the minimum rates of pay in the modern award following this and other supporting submissions.

IRV provides the secretariat for the Equal Workplaces Advisory Council, which advises the Minister for Industrial Relations about initiatives to address the gap in women’s pay and workforce participation. The council helped develop a submission to the Inquiry into Economic Equity for Victorian Women led by the Department of Treasury and Finance.

IRV oversaw implementation of the:

  • Women in Construction Strategy 2019–22, which seeks to increase women’s participation in trade and semi-skilled roles because they consistently comprise only 2 to 3% of the workforce. The strategy sets out a 4-year work program with actions at 3 key points of intervention: attraction, recruitment and retention
  • Building Equality Policy, which aims to create training and employment opportunities for women on government-funded construction projects valued at $20 million or more.

IRV continued to provide industrial relations support and advice to the Public Sector Gender Equality Commissioner following the implementation of the Gender Equality Act 2020. It developed a model gender equality provision for public sector employers to include in their enterprise agreements, which enlivens the dispute resolution powers of the Commissioner for disputes involving systemic gender equality issues.

Promote access to secure, ongoing and meaningful employment for Victorian workers

IRV began work to implement several recommendations of the Report of the Inquiry into the Victorian On-Demand Workforce including:

  • developing Fair Conduct and Accountability Standards and consulting stakeholders about them
  • considering options for a support service to assist platform workers and businesses to understand entitlements and obligations
  • preparing a submission to Fair Work Commission proceedings considering an application to develop an On-Demand Delivery Services Award
  • advocating for improvements to national laws to better protect gig workers.

IRV worked with the Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions to design and implement the Victorian Sick Pay Guarantee pilot scheme. The scheme, which began in March 2022, provides workers in specified industries who have no entitlement to paid sick leave with up to 5 days’ pay at the national minimum wage.

IRV worked with VPS employers to audit the use of casual and fixed-term employment in the VPS to better understand the drivers for using insecure forms of work and barriers to providing secure work.

IRV developed and maintained a range of supports for public sector workers affected by COVID-19 including:

  • paid special leave to care for children undertaking remote learning
  • paid time off to receive a COVID-19 vaccination.

Monitor significant public and private sector industrial relations matters and disputes and provide timely and strategic advice to government

IRV continued to work with industry stakeholders and to provide secretariat support to the Transport Industry Council and the Forestry Industry Council.

IRV undertook a review of the operation and effectiveness of the Victorian Government Tip Truck Owner Driver Policy, which provides for minimum rates of pay for tip truck owner-drivers working on government-funded construction projects. In accordance with the requirements of the Owner Drivers and Forestry Contractors Act 2005, IRV reviewed rates and costs schedules and published revised interim schedules in April 2022. These rates and costs schedules set minimum rates of pay for tip truck owner-drivers working on government construction projects.

IRV has continued to support the Victorian Government’s policy responses to COVID-19 directed towards supporting workers and businesses in the private sector, including compliance with restrictions and the implementation of vaccination mandates.

IRV worked with the Department of Justice and Community Safety to complete a review of Victoria’s private security industry and continued to work with the Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions to develop the Victorian Fair Jobs Code.

Support industrial relations portfolio agencies and authorities to deliver their legislative obligations, including in relation to wage theft, long service leave, labour hire, child employment and owner-drivers

IRV continued to support the industrial relations portfolio entities: Wage Inspectorate Victoria, the Portable Long Service Authority and the Labour Hire Licensing Authority.

IRV led development of the Child Employment Amendment Act 2022 , working closely with Wage Inspectorate Victoria, and will continue to work with them throughout the implementation process.

IRV works with the Portable Long Service Authority with respect to its responsibilities and functions under the Long Service Benefits Portability Act 2018. The Act established a portable long service scheme for workers in the community services, contract cleaning and security sectors. To date, more than 2,800 employers and 230,000 workers have registered for the scheme.

IRV also works with the Labour Hire Licensing Authority, the independent statutory body set up to administer the Labour Hire Licensing Act 2018. The Act establishes a labour hire licensing scheme to address exploitation in the labour hire industry. There are currently 5,291 labour hire licences in force in Victoria, including 1,044 licences granted in the period 1 July 2021 to 30 June 2022.

Influence Victorian workplaces to achieve enduring compliance with Victorian law covering wage theft, child employment, long service leave and contractors in transport and forestry

On 1 July 2021 Wage Inspectorate Victoria was set up as an independent statutory authority under the Wage Theft Act 2020, which introduced criminal wage theft offences. The new authority also assumed responsibility for administering existing child employment, long service leave and owner-driver and forestry contractor legislation. These functions were previously performed by Wage Inspectorate Victoria as a business unit of DPC.

In its first year of operations as a statutory authority, the Wage Inspectorate:

  • protected the safety and welfare of children working in Victoria by administering child employment laws including assessing and issuing 7,758 child employment permits and undertaking 329 proactive compliance checks and investigations
  • received 295 reports of alleged breaches of long service leave laws, initiated 124 long service leave investigations and finalised 95, recovering $309,367 in outstanding long service leave entitlements
  • answered 13,791 calls about wage theft, long service leave, child employment and owner-driver laws through its helpline and responded to 1,825 written enquiries
  • filed 4 new prosecutions alleging breaches of theLong Service Leave Act 2018 and the Child Employment Act and was successful in securing guilty verdicts and penalties against 3 employers, including in cases carried over from the previous financial year (3 of the 4 matters filed in the 2021–22 financial year were still before court as of 30 June 2022)
  • began intelligence-led, criminal wage theft investigations using the powers granted under the Wage Theft Act, including exercising warrants, issuing compulsory notices, entering premises and seizing evidence
  • undertook regulatory responsibilities under the Owner Drivers and Forestry Contractors Act, including through proactive auditing activities focused on hirers of owner-drivers and checking compliance with the law for 259 individual drivers
  • reached approximately 80% of the Victorian population with awareness-raising messages about the Wage Inspectorate’s role — in addition to receiving more than 286,000 visits to the educational resources on its website
  • engaged with business and unions, meeting with more than 50 stakeholders to raise awareness of the wage theft legislation and the Wage Inspectorate’s role
  • began implementing a 3-year education strategy focused on productive and prosperous Victorian workplaces to raise awareness of workplace rights and obligations in Victoria and increase compliance with the law
  • engaged with the mainstream media to educate the community about Wage Inspectorate legislation, issuing 11 media releases and achieving coverage in more than 500 media titles across Melbourne and regional Victoria.

Office of the Victorian Government Architect

Provide advice, advocacy and collaboration on good design through the Office of the Victorian Government Architect

In 2021–22 the Office of the Victorian Government Architect (OVGA) continued its work ensuring that government investment in public projects delivers value for the community. OVGA is embedded in many initiatives and projects across portfolios. Highlights include:

  • Publications — launch of publications including Good Design and Local Government, Good Design and Design Review and a revised version of Government as Smart Client.
  • Design-led Planning Reform — advancing the Future Homes Project, in partnership with the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, to refine and validate replicable Future Homes competition winning designs. This work will inform potential planning reforms including a streamlined planning process for developments that use the exemplar designs produced from the Future Homes competition.
  • Social housing — supporting Homes Victoria to achieve liveable, accessible, site-responsive and sustainable social housing through Victoria’s Big Housing Build program. OVGA has also worked closely on adapting and constructing one of the competition-winning designs as a demonstration project on public land for Homes Victoria.
  • Health infrastructure — working with the Victorian Health Building Authority to deliver its significant pipeline of projects including the New Footscray Hospital and the Frankston Hospital Redevelopment.
  • Education — undertaking post-occupancy evaluations of recently completed school projects and capturing lessons to inform future projects for the Victorian School Building Authority.
  • Creative industries — worked closely with Creative Victoria and Development Victoria on the NGV Contemporary Design Competition assessment process. The Victorian Government Architect was also a member of the jury. OVGA has also been working with Creative Victoria on its Creative Spaces Design Guide.
  • Transport infrastructure — collaborating with the Major Transport Infrastructure Authority on Victoria’s Big Build program including the Level Crossing Removal Project, North East Link and Metro Tunnel. OVGA also worked with the Suburban Rail Loop Authority on its Urban Design Strategy. OVGA is a member of a dedicated Urban Design Advisory Panel providing strategic advice on the project.
  • Design Review — OVGA’s core advisory role is supplemented by OVGA’s Victorian Design Review Panel through structured design review of public and private sector projects. In 2021–22 special areas of focus for the panel included regional projects, social housing projects, development in sensitive heritage places and development for which the Minister of Planning is the responsible authority. Building on OVGA’s advocacy work on Good Design and Review, the design review team also provided strategic advice to metropolitan and regional councils on establishing local design review panels.

Progress towards achieving the objective

The output performance measures that provide information on DPC’s progress in achieving the ‘Strong policy outcomes’ strategic objective are outlined below.

Objective indicator: DPC’s policy advice and its support for Cabinet, committee members and the Executive Council are valued and inform decision making

Performance measure

2018–19

2019–20

2020–21

2021–22

Number of briefs supporting Cabinet and Cabinet committee decision making

699

1,136

1,806

1,430

Policy services satisfaction rating

92%

86%

84%

80%

Policy services timeliness rating

97%

97%

97%

79%

Objective indicator: The development and effective use of technology supports productivity and competitiveness

Performance measure

2018–19

2019–20

2020–21

2021–22

Victorian Government entities using the Standard User Experience Framework

24

30

74

112

Average monthly analysis reports generated to guide government decision making

75

65

102

117

Average number of monthly visits to www.vic.gov.auExternal Link

356,362

1,067,943

1,043,658

1,048,168

Further details on DPC’s 2021–22 performance against its output performance measures are covered on pages 47–61.

Reviewed 21 September 2022

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