[LINK] Gershon recommendations adopted

Tom Worthington Tom.Worthington at tomw.net.au
Thu Nov 27 06:51:44 AEDT 2008

At 07:43 PM 24/11/2008, Bernard Robertson-Dunn wrote:
>Maybe I'm thick, but I don't understand how the government can get 
>"efficient and effective expenditure and management." and at the 
>same time "... improve the use of ICT in public administration and 
>service delivery." ...

Seems pretty simple to me: If you make the use of ICT more efficient, 
you can reduce the cost of the ICT and also improve the service provided.

As an example, if you replace multiple government systems which are 
each providing part of a service to the citizens, with one system 
providing all the service, this will most likely be cheaper and also 
provide a better service. The catch is that this rationalization will 
work best where both the administration and organisation structures 
are rationalized. Otherwise we will have to have a tangle of 
administration underneath a veneer of a unified interface. Placing a 
coordinated CT  interface over a messy administrative structure is 
better than nothing, but in many ways is just papering over the cracks.

The details of how to rationalize government ICT can be argued over. 
As an example, the Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and 
Research issued a Request for Tender for an Advanced Online Forms 
component of the Australian Government Online Service Point (AGOSP) 
However the RFT specifically asks for Adobe LiveCycle Technology and 
the proprietary product is included in the title of the RFT: "ICT 
Development Services Panel for Adobe LiveCycle Technology". So the 
option of using other company's products and free open source options 
have been closed off even before the tenders are considered.

Using Adobe LiveCycle for all government forms will be better than 
filling in forms on paper and better than an assortment of different 
form filling packages being used. But the use of HTML standards and 
interactive Web 2 style additions to standard HTML might be easier 
for the customer to use, easier to implement and cheaper.

Tom Worthington FACS HLM tom.worthington at tomw.net.au Ph: 0419 496150
Director, Tomw Communications Pty Ltd            ABN: 17 088 714 309
PO Box 13, Belconnen ACT 2617                      http://www.tomw.net.au/
Adjunct Senior Lecturer, Australian National University  

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