[LINK] Transparency of government IT projects

Jan Whitaker jwhit at janwhitaker.com
Wed Feb 15 13:21:08 AEDT 2012

This is fabulous. I wonder if the Australian government would even 
consider 1/4 as much transparency and data access at this provides.

http://www.itdashboard.gov/ - Watch the over at the bottom of the 
page to get an idea of what is available.

Pressing the technology reset button

Mahesh Sharma
February 15, 2012 - 12:03PM

When US President Obama first took office in November 2008, he 
challenged the inaugural US Government chief information officer 
Vivek Kundra to hit the reset button on technology in the public sector.

It was the first time an incoming president identified technology as 
a key area of reform, alongside national security, healthcare and the 
economy. The US government is the world's biggest IT shop, with a 
$US80 billion budget and 12,000 systems globally.

Undaunted by governments' well-known reluctance to change, Kundra 
relished the opportunity to lead the team known as 'tigre' 
(technology innovation and government reform).

"I vividly remember how we got together for the first time, and the 
president challenged us to think about how do you create a 21st 
century government," Kundra said in Sydney this week.

"How do we actually make sure the investments being made in 
technology are going to produce dividends for the American people?"

Armed with a vision and experience overhauling local government IT, 
he quickly discovered federal government was a very different beast 
with a preconceived notion of how technology was to be deployed.

His first day in the White House famously played out as President 
Obama fought tooth-and-nail to use a Blackberry. Days later, Kundra 
discovered more than $US20 billion in taxpayer money was invested in 
IT projects that were years behind schedule and millions of dollars 
over budget.

His solution was to boost individual accountability in the government 
by promoting transparency. He declared before a senate hearing that 
within 60 days he would launch an <http://www.itdashboard.gov/>online 
IT dashboard to rank the performance of every IT project and every 
CIO in federal government agencies publicly.

The idea was simple: projects were ranked then colour-coded red, 
yellow, and green ($US27 billion of government IT spending was in the 
'red'), and the public could comment on the projects.

The dashboard is now used by the government to make IT budget 
decisions and has been released to industry as 
<http://sourceforge.net/projects/it-dashboard/>open source via 
SourceForge to help others benchmark their projects. It met with some 
criticism when first launched, as government agencies and third-party 
organisations claimed to have found innacuracies, according to an 
Information Week Government report.
[snip - more at link: 

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
jwhit at janwhitaker.com
blog: http://janwhitaker.com/jansblog/
business: http://www.janwhitaker.com

Our truest response to the irrationality of the world is to paint or 
sing or write, for only in such response do we find truth.
~Madeline L'Engle, writer

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