Australian Government Technical Interoperability Framework
2. Overview - Technical Interoperability Framework
The following principles, endorsed by the Management Advisory Committee (MAC) underpin the Framework:
- Agencies agree to collaborate within a federated model to achieve flexibility in the delivery of programs and services, in ways that achieve government objectives and meet the needs and circumstances of citizens.
- Government Interoperability draws on established standards and recognises the opportunities provided by ICT industry trends.
- Existing Australian and international standards will be adopted wherever available and appropriate.
- This Framework is open standards based, that is all standards and guidelines must conform with open standards principles as outlined in section 3.1.
- Trust and security are aspects of the Framework.
- The Framework will adapt to changing requirements over time and will be maintained at a strategic level.
- Agencies will work within relevant industry sectors and communities of interest to determine the appropriate level of interoperability to meet the requirements of their agency, sector or community.
2.2 Chief Information Officers’ Role
Chief Information Officers (CIOs) are vital to the development and implementation of this Framework. This section outlines the role of CIOs and agencies in relation to interoperability.
2.2.1 Implementing the Framework in your Agency
Chief Information Officers are primarily responsible for the success of the Framework. Interoperability depends as much on a culture of collaboration within and between agencies as it does on the consistent use of agreed standards.
CIOs can implement the Framework within their agency by endorsing it as agency policy and ensuring it is referenced in relevant agency policies. A CIO may use the opportunity to rationalise processes, as a result of increased interoperability, to improve the quality of services and to reduce the cost of service provision. Naturally implementation will happen over time as systems reach the end of their life cycle. CIOs who have committed to implementing this Framework can
- Raise awareness of the Framework within the agency
- Adopt the Framework as a guide to agency policy
- Ensure the Framework is used appropriately, for example, as business systems are ready for replacement consider the relevance of interoperability
- Create an environment for officers to raise and action interoperability issues.
CIOs can support the aims of the Framework by ensuring the following business rules operate within their agency, within the context of existing agency policy:
- Trust, including privacy and level of authentication are appropriate to the particular service, and sensitivity of information; and all risks are identified and managed appropriately within the agency.
- Security issues are identified and managed appropriately within the agency.
- Data quality and integrity is managed appropriately within the agency, and on the premise that information content may at some time be transferred across agency boundaries.
2.3 Role of Australian Government Information Management Office (AGIMO)
This Framework has been developed in close consultation with key Australian Government agencies. The CIOC set the strategic direction through consultation and their endorsement of the Framework is collectively owned by CIOs. AGIMO will act as the focal point for managing and updating the Framework.
AGIMO’s involvement in forums such as the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) and the OASIS E-Government Asia-Pacific Technical Sub-Committee allows AGIMO to ensure consistency with global industry standards in the development of interoperability standards and policies.
AGIMO trialed the XML Clearinghouse in 2003. This was a proof of concept implementation of registry/repository technology. The purpose of the trial was to gain an understanding of how this technology could improve the management of cross-agency and cross-jurisdictional business processes, and to gain insight into the technical and governance requirements needed to successfully operate such a solution.
Based on the outcomes of the proof of concept, the intent is to migrate XML Clearinghouse to a pilot production version called GovDex. The aim is to position Govdex as a shared piece of collaborative infrastructure which agencies can leverage to rationalise the cost of integration and to transform service delivery.
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