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Infrastructure Data Management Framework

The Infrastructure Data Management Framework (IDMF) - Recommendation 27 of the NSW State Infrastructure Strategy (SIS) 2018-2038 - aims to implement an integrated approach for the management of infrastructure data across NSW Government, guiding the use of structured infrastructure information and data to enable better decision making at all stages of the infrastructure asset lifecycle. 

Current Situation 

The NSW Government currently manages infrastructure assets worth more than $300 billion. Over the past 7 years, the Government has invested more than $111 billion in building infrastructure to improve the lives of the people of NSW. In 2016-17, expenditure on asset management was $4.1 billion – a figure that is expected to increase due to the growth and age of assets. Using technology (and data) to help optimise the management and operations of infrastructure assets will be critical. 

The NSW Government continues to invest significant resources across the asset lifecycle of state infrastructure, with an additional $93 billion of NSW government capital expenditure planned for delivery by 2023, with a similar pipeline of infrastructure projects continuing beyond this timeframe. Any efficiencies generated through enhanced management of infrastructure data across the asset lifecycle (from strategic planning, through planning and delivery of projects, to operations and maintenance) will provide significant savings across the NSW Government infrastructure portfolio. 

In 2018 the NSW Information Management Framework (IMF) was released as part of Digital.NSW, outlining a shared direction for information management in the NSW Government. The IDMF is a complimentary framework specifically designed to provide more guidance on management of information and data relating to state infrastructure, which includes information and data related to assets such as utilities (e.g. energy and water), transport (e.g. land and water), communications, and the built environment. 

It is widely recognised that infrastructure data has become an important part of state infrastructure and must be managed better to improve the benefits from the data and assets, i.e. to achieve the best outcome the data must be managed as an asset in its own right. The current lack of specific guidance on infrastructure data and information management results in the ineffective capture, sharing and reuse of asset related data by NSW Government agencies and departments across the asset lifecycle. 

More effective management of infrastructure data and information also leads to enhanced project quality and productivity, reduction in variations and delays, improved scheduling, better communication and improved safety. For example the implementation of a more coordinated digitally enabled, standards-based approach to management of underground utilities has already generated benefits for Transport for NSW. 

Proposed Approach 

The NSW IDMF will be complementary extension of to the existing NSW IMF, and will provide an infrastructure specific standards-based approach for NSW agencies to implement better information and data practices and governance for infrastructure assets. 

The IDMF will provide a set of policies, standards, guidelines and procedures to support infrastructure management by ensuring that infrastructure data and information is valued and managed in a consistent, structured and secure manner.  

The IDMF will leverage other NSW policies and frameworks whilst ensuring a standalone narrative is developed to support adoption and easy stakeholder uptake and use by agencies.  This includes alignment with specific NSW digital infrastructure initiatives such as NSW Smart Places, NSW Smart Infrastructure, NSW IoT Policy, and the NSW Asset Management Policy. 

Where relevant this will also extend to adopting International, Australian or NSW standards for infrastructure asset and location classification, file formats, metadata, smart cities, building information modelling and spatial data. 

Key challenges in developing and implementing the IDMF include: 

  • The framework needs to be applicable to all stakeholders and infrastructure assets (supporting both vertical and linear assets), while providing sufficient detail to inform management of infrastructure data and information; 

  • With the increased ability to share information it is important to come up with standards that include how to assess data quality and not just provide guidance on classification and formats; and 

  • Greater sharing inevitably involves greater integration, which means changes to how agencies and industry work together, including making sure that contractual arrangements support the outcomes required. 

Recognising these risks, the IDMF will provide a framework, including agreed principles for infrastructure data management, common processes and classification of infrastructure data, standardised file format specifications, and common conditions of contract for infrastructure data. Key outcomes expected following adoption of the IDMF include: 

  • Reduction in time from project planning to construction phases while increasing data quality, including an optimised data handover to operations and maintenance phase; 

  • Reduction in the cost of creation and maintenance of infrastructure construction and maintenance data, information and documentation; and 

  • Improved risk management processes during construction, operations and maintenance phases. 

The IDMF development team is working towards the following high-level milestones: 

  • July 2020 - Draft IDMF (including core components) released for review 

  • November 2020 –IDMF website published 

The website will be published as an Interim version in November 2020, as the IDMF is not static and will continue to develop over time. 

Without coordination and collaboration on data across NSW Government, agencies, operators, maintainers, regulators and users will not be able to realise the benefits that could be achieved from infrastructure data and the application of data.  Ultimately the IDMF will support better asset data for NSW infrastructure and facilitate the development of smart cities and places in NSW. 

For further information or to participate in the development process, please email with the subject title IDMF. A discussion forum is also available on the Forum section of this website. 

Draft for Consultation

The IDMF is now open for consultation.  The consultation draft consists of two main elements:

  • a PDF version which contains all the draft content
  • a website prototype which provides a more easily consumable version of the content. This prototype website is a summary version of the IDMF which may not contain the full content of every section. For the most comprehensive up to date content, please see the PDF version.

Please send us your feedback on the document and prototype website by 21 August via email.