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Configured for DPIE's specific needs OmniStar's grants management platform image

OmniStar's grants management platform Configured for DPIE's specific needs

About the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment

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 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.

Out of the box strategy to develop a fit for purpose GMS


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. 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 vision was for the Grant Management System (GMS) to deliver:
1) Efficiency of systems
2) Consistency of processes
3) Probity of grant application & approval, financial management and reporting

A fit for purpose and efficient Grants Management System coupled with streamlined and consistent business processes that would free up significant staff resources and would bring optimum benefit to grant funding programs. Furthermore, the Grants Management System would ensure probity in grant allocation and financial management and that effective reporting on grant program outcomes would be made available.

End-to-end solution

F1 Solutions proposed their OmniStar platform running on Amazon Web Services (AWS) and compliant with industry, state and federal standards to deliver on DPIE’s vision. The OmniStar solution is used across Australia in state and federal government and government funded/not-for-profit organisations to provide grants management, powering systems such as the NHMRC’s Sapphire solution.

OmniStar 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.

Whole suite of services

The following services were performed as a part of the project:

ANALYSIS AND DESIGN Business process re-engineering
  Analysis and solution design
  Requirement specifications
  Design specifications
  Integration specifications
CONFIGURATION Essential configuration (grant rounds, approvals, permissions, etc.)
  Portal branding
  SmartForm configuration
  Terminology configuration
  Templates (letters, documents and emails) configuration
  Workflow configuration
  Report and dashboard configuration
DATA MIGRATION Data migration specification  
  Data migration import  
QUALITY ASSURANCE Functional testing
  System integration testing
  Performance & load testing  
  Penetration testing
  Data migration testing
TRAINING Instructor led training
  Training manuals
SUPPORT Go live support
  Level 1, 2 & 3 help desk support
HOSTING Environment provisioning (DEV, TEST, UAT and PROD)