Tuesday, February 12, 2013

ICT Empowering Citizen Engagement

Greetings from the CSIRO Discovery centre in Canberra where Mike Mitchelmore, Acting GM Strategy and Architecture, Department of Human Services (DHS) is speaking on the "Role of strategy and architecture in empowering citizen engagement". This is a meeting of the Australian Computer Society Special Interest Group of Strategy and Architecture. There is DHS Technology Plan 2012-2016 with a strategy of providing as many services for the citizens on-line as possible, preferably via mobile devices. Unfortunately, while there is an outline of the plan in the DHS Annual Report, I was not able to find the plan itself (Australian Government policy requires DHS to publish the report on-line). However, technology features in the "DHS Strategic Plan 2012–16".

DHS was formed from several government agencies which made payments to citizens. So DHS has considerable work to do, consolidating systems. There is also considerable scope for making service delivery better and cheaper, with citizens not having to deal with so many separate government offices.

DHS also has some systems which have 20 year old software running on  Model 204 Database.  DHS is planning to use SAP and Microsoft software. This would appear to me to be a very high risk strategy. The aim of rationalizing and centralizing may not be a good diea in an era of constant change. It is unlikely DHS could rationalize its systems before the next restructuring of government agencies (likely after this year's election) which would require the systems to be split again.

It may be better for DHS to build a set of systems which can work together, but be split apart when required. An alternative approach would be for DHS to build systems which can be used by any government agency, so other agencies could keep using the same systems when functions are administratively transferred.

DHS is building some interesting Apps, which will particularly appeal to university students. But it would be prudent for DHS to also offer an equivalent web application.

Some of DHS plans will provide benefits both for the government and citizens. An example is "tell us once" where citizens can advise just once of changes of address or bank account number for payments.
ACS Strategy and Architecture SIG:
The role of strategy and architecture in empowering citizen engagement ...
The role of strategy and architecture in empowering citizen engagement with government through effective ICT-based systems and services.
The Department of Human Services (http://www.humanservices.gov.au/) is responsible for the development of service delivery policy and provides access to social, health and other payments and services. It is currently undergoing major changes as part of Service Delivery Reform, which is designed to give Australians better access to social, health and welfare services. The aim is to improve services to meet people’s needs by providing more tailored and intensive support where it is needed most.
Modern and effective use of ICT is crucial to many of the initiatives that the Department is undertaking. Contemporary ICT offers new ways of delivering more attractive and engaging citizen service delivery models. Strategy and architecture plays a pivotal role in providing clear and achievable roadmaps for ICT-supported service delivery.
In this presentation, Mike will talk about the journey DHS is undertaking to move from legacy ICT supporting a traditional service delivery model to one that enables engaging, citizen-centric service delivery.
Biography: Mike Mitchelmore Acting GM Strategy and Architecture Department of Human Services Mike Mitchelmore joined the Department of Human Services (the department) as the National Manager of the Strategic Vendor Management and Sourcing Branch, in February 2012. Mike is currently the Acting General Manager of the Strategy, Architecture and Shared Services Division, within the Chief Information Officer Group. In this role, Mike leads ICT Strategy and Innovation, Architecture Standards, Enterprise Architecture, Enterprise Testing and the ICT Software Review Project, on behalf of the department. Previously, Mike was the Chief Information Officer for the Australian Research Council and has held several senior positions at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Mike is a former Army officer and graduate of the Australian Officer Cadet School (Portsea), the Army Command and Staff College (Queenscliff) and the Royal Military College of Science (UK). He holds a Bachelor of Social Science, a Graduate Diploma of Telecommunications Systems Management and a Graduate Diploma of Management Studies. He is a graduate of Army Staff College (psc), and Army Technical Staff College UK (JTC). Mike was awarded the City of London Institute Guild Award for his research into Military Technology.

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