"Oz Government" search engine
Wed, 6 Nov 1996 16:59:25 +1100 (EETDT)
On Tue, 5 Nov 1996, Irena Goltz wrote:
> " I find that the whole of the Oz Govt structure is far too linear
> (bureaucratic??) in its layout. ............
Isn't it about time someone built a key-word driven internal search
engine for Oz Govts only?"
I would like to add the following, further to the responses from Tony
Barry, Brian Denehy and Renato Iannella.
The need for a keyword driven whole-of-government search engine has been
acutely felt for some time, with the increasing volumes of information and
an increasing number of participatig agencies.
To this end, the National Library of Australia (NLA), together with the
Office of Government Information Technology (OGIT) recently held an
inter-agency workshop on access strategy to Australian Government Information.
The need for this arose partly from the Library's experience with the
Harvest pilot run in 1995 to index and search whole-of-government
information, and partly from the general research and thinking in the
Digital Libraries community regarding design criteria for large wide-area
The main objective of the workshop was to recommend an architecture that
would enable whole-of-government and cross-jurisdictional indexing and
searching, while allowing agency level autonomy in deploying their own
search engines. Two of the major issues dealt with in this regard were
scalability of the architecture with growing volumes and complexities of
information, and inter-operability among different search engines to allow
a unified view of the retrieved information.
The workshop built upon earlier works by a technical group of the
Information Management Steering Committee (IMSC), and recommended action
paths, both short term and longer term, as mentioned in Renato Iannella's
The current status is that the workshop outcomes have been presented to
Government level planning bodies such as IMSC and Government
Telecommunications and Technology Conference (GTTC), and the resourcing
issues are in the process of being sorted out under the broader umbrella
of IMSC recommendations.
The various reports that contain fuller information on this topic include:
1. IMSC Technical Group report, July 1996, at:
2. IMSC report, 'Management of Government Information as a National
Strategic Resource', October 1996, at:
This report is currently open for public comment until 30/11/96,
and addresses in its Recommendations 4 and 6 the issues of visibility and
access to whole-of-government information
3. a position paper for the NLA-OGIT workshop, September 1996, at:
4. the NLA-OGIT workshop report, now completed, to be available on
the NLA server.
In the broader context, a business case for easy access to Governmrnt
information is currently being prepared by OGIT, as part of Online
Government Council activities. Expected completion of this report is in
about a fortnight, to be available on the OGIT server.
Kaveri Chakrabarty T T T T T T T T
Manager, Host Systems Section T T T T T T T T
firstname.lastname@example.org I I I I I I I I
National Library of Australia I I I I I I I I
Phone: +61 6 2621543 Fax: +61 6 2733648 ===================