Implementing the strategic vision for government’s use of ICT

Ann Steward - AGIMO
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Earlier this week I spoke at the Technology in Government & Public Sector Summit in Canberra about the Government’s use of IT. 

Here are my speaking notes: 

The deliverables to date
  • Implemented coordinated procurement arrangements for telecommunications products and services, data centre services, ICT infrastructure, services and software licensing.

    • Eight panels now in place – desktop computers, internet connections, mobile phones and data centre facilities.
    • Microsoft Volume Sourcing Arrangement – Government has save over $60 million since the contract was established in January 2009.
  • Enhanced government’s online presence to improve engagement and collaboration between people and agencies.
    • Data from the 2011 Interacting with Government Survey, currently underway, confirms that, when available, the internet remains the most frequent channel with nearly half of people (47%) using the internet in their last contact with government.

      • This compares with the 2009 survey which found that two in five people (38%) used the internet in their last contact with government.
  • Supply of secure video-conferencing and network services to Ministers, Australian Government agencies and COAG members.
    • National TelePresence Network:

      • 34 sites around the country – at least two sites in each capital city;
      • Reducing costs and carbon emissions attributed to government.
  • Advanced government’s ICT architecture:
What’s coming up next?
  • Finalise our ICT strategic directions:

    • Need for executive leadership and sponsorship by government, agencies and industry.
  • Improve government’s online presence:
    • ‘tell us once’
  • Maintain coordinated procurement arrangements:
  • Skills programs – strategic approach between government and industry to meet the current and future needs of agencies.
  • Authentication capability for modern service delivery including policy advice and guidance on cyber security.
  • Deliver policy advice, guidance and benchmarking data to improve ICT investment decision making.
  • Achieve savings and efficiencies for Government through the development of common desktop functionality.
  • Improve the operation of the Government ICT marketplace by strengthening the relationship with industry.
  • Working in conjunction with Industry (AIIA) on the Cloud Framework – drafting SLAs, procurement aspects, checklists – due end year.
Tell us once
  • This work is examining ways in which we (Government) can improve the way that we deliver services to citizens online:

    • by reducing the amount of repetition in provision of information –with the explicit emphasis on this being from the citizen perspective, and with them having control of what information they share with whom.
    • Privacy and security will be preserved.
Web 3.0 – context and connections
  • Location information – the value of place-based data:

    • Will enable more strategic decision-making;
    • Agencies will be able to better align services, infrastructure and support ... better understand complex issues;
    • Supports informed and targeted decision making and policy development;
    • Will provide broader economic, social and environmental gains.
  • In use across Government already:
    • The ABS National Regional Profile (NRP) allows demographic and economic information to be compared and downloaded based on over 2,000 administrative boundaries across Australia.

      • The profiles contain a range of data from the ABS and other sources, available for Statistics Divisions, Statistical Subdivisions, Statistical Local Areas and Local Government Areas.
  • New framework and approach required:
    • Strategic framework has been developed;
    • Supported by principles of good governance, location information access and sharing, standards and interoperability;
    • Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism providing the policy lead;
    • Working with a range of stakeholders including AGIMO;
    • Will comply with State, Territory and Commonwealth privacy laws.
  • Benefits:
    • a key part of Australia’s knowledge infrastructure;
    • increases the value of information as an asset;
    • build skills and knowledge resources;
    • improve analytical capabilities;
    • growth in innovation and productivity;
    • reduced duplication;
    • better decision-making, improved accountability.
Open government –
  • – a central online repository that provides an easy way to find, access and reuse public datasets:

    • Uses a commercial cloud offering for the hosting of datasets.
    • Built on govspace infrastructure – a shared platform for simple hosting of government blogs and other websites.
    • Minimal cost – govspace can be used by agencies as a no-fee service and the cost of cloud hosting has been very low.
  • Delivered benefits:
    • 542 datasets from multiple Australian jurisdictions.
    • Links to other Australian government data catalogues containing thousands of datasets have been provided in one place.
    • Government agencies have begun to publish data using formats and licences which allow the data to be reused in new applications by the public.
  • hosts a range of government spatial data:
  • Other examples of re-use of government information opened up through
    • which returns Commonwealth Electoral information related to a user-supplied location and
    • Suburb Matchmaker which uses Census information to allow people to locate suburbs with a demographic profile compatible with their own.
Accessibility matters
  • The Australian Government has endorsed the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines version 2 (WCAG 2.0):

    • Web Accessibility National Transition Strategy - four-year plan to upgrade government websites.
    • The strategy requires that websites conform to WCAG 2.0 Level A (minimum level) by the end of 2012, and
    • Level AA (intermediate level) by the end of 2014.
  • Agencies are progressing ... however there is still a long way to go for full accessibility of all government websites.
  • AGIMO working with vendors and accessibility experts to deliver Accessibility Education sessions to support agency efforts:
    • Another series of Accessible PDF sessions, in collaboration with Adobe, to be held in November.
  • WCAG 2.0 Community of Expertise is hosted on the AGIMO Blog:
    • Encourage you to take part in an active, ongoing discussion.
  • Recognised for our efforts:
Social media
  • More agencies picking up social media tools – becoming more fluent in this space.
  • Our experience:
  • National Library:
    • Successfully uses Twitter and Facebook to increase the profile of the institution, engage with members of the public, and increase use of the Library’s rich collections.
    • The Library’s Trove service links to more than 120,000,000 items, including full-text books, journal and newspaper articles, images, music, sound, video, maps, websites, letters, archives, and biographies of prominent Australians.
      • In 2010, the site received three million visits and now boasts an average of 25,000 unique visitors a day.
    • Trove’s twitter feed publicises links to historic resources relevant to current and topical events.
      • The feed alerts people to system changes, and outages, and to answer questions about the service.
      • More than a dozen staff involved
      • Staff are trained in the Library’s social media guidelines, and encouraged to adopt the quirky, informal and helpful tone.
      • The Twitter feed is popular with the public, and is also followed by media organisations interested in featuring Library resources.
      • It has led to a measurable increase in people following links within Twitter to the Trove service, and generated positive publicity for the Library as a whole.
    • Australian Bureau of Statistics2011 Census
      • Informative, effective online campaign – great use of Twitter to engage
      • Public servants with a sense of humour!
      • – interactive and accessible site that tells a story about the user through Census data
    • BioSecurity Queensland:
      • Uses Facebook to provide vital information about the Hendra virus
    • New South Wales Police and Queensland Police Service:
      • Facebook – a vital means to inform and interact with the public.
      • NSW Police last week (5 August) announced the trial of “Project Eyewatch", an online community policing concept using Facebook to combat crime and engage at a local level.

In conclusion – a busy year ahead, building on solid foundation and lots of opportunity for agencies and industry to work with us.

There were a number of interesting speakers at the event: Special Minister of State, the Hon Gary Gray AO MP spoke about the next stage of ICT reform. The Attorney-General, the Hon Robert McLelland MP, spoke about cyber security.

Please note that the content on this page was updated 10/10/2013 to remove links which previously pointed to content that is no longer available.

Comments (1)

Fantastic run-down on all the activities. You are sure a busy lot over there at AGIMO.

One thing that I picked up in the list is that we had some discussion late last year on the blog about the idea of a gov wide panel for gov 2 suppliers - yep, folks like me and my company

I think it's a very important panel that I hope can get some traction.

There are some worrying panel and procurement things in the gov 2 / online space I am hearing about and a gov wide panel, I think is needed

Last updated: 01 August 2016