Australian Government Technical Interoperability Framework
1. What is the Interoperability Technical Framework?
This Framework sets out a common language, conceptual model and standards that Australian Government agencies can employ as a basis for interoperating to deliver the Australian Government’s policy and program priorities. This Framework does not impose obligations or in any way constrain agencies’ abilities to undertake their core business.
Interoperability is defined as:
the ability to transfer and use information in a uniform and efficient manner across multiple organizations and information technology systems. It underpins the level of benefits accruing to enterprises, government and the wider economy through e-commerce.
The Information Management Strategy Committee (IMSC) has endorsed an approach which divides interoperability into three domains:
- business processes.
This document, the Australian Government Technical Interoperability Framework addresses the ‘technical’ domain. Technical interoperability supports information and business process interoperability.
The ‘information interoperability’ domain will provide a common methodology, definition and structure of information, along with shared services for its retrieval. The Information Interoperability Working Group is currently developing this agenda.
‘Business process interoperability’ will deal with common methods, processes and shared services for collaboration, including workflow, decision-making and business transactions.
This Framework was developed to be consistent with broader industry trends. A successful Framework requires the involvement of all government Chief Information Officers. This means a strong commitment to collaboration, and to creating a cultural network that operates beyond internal systems. Crucially, this Framework will only be effective if agencies and departments support it and use it.
Ultimately, collaboration between agencies to deliver more efficient and effective government will require compatibility of the policy, legal and business environments across agencies. The Framework provides the first step in establishing this compatibility at the technical level for the exchange of data and harmonisation of business transactions within a trusted environment. This second version of the Framework extends Version 1 and now delivers a more comprehensive set of standards, while continuing to be a living, breathing framework that will grow over time.
NB: Due to the fluid nature of technical standards, some standards listed in this document may also address issues related to content. These have been included pending development of other frameworks by the CIOC.
Figure 1 describes the business context within which interoperability is a key factor. As figure 1 shows, interoperability facilitates collaboration between government agencies and will, in the future, support collaborative service delivery and information sharing between all Australian jurisdictions.
Figure 1: Business Context
Interoperability thus supports improved service delivery to citizens; reducing the cost to government of delivering services and sharing information; and delivering greater economic efficiencies for the wider economy.
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