Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Go Electronic for Meetings and Consultations

This is to suggest that Australian governments, organizations, and the community, interpret current laws, regulations, and procedures, as allowing for electronic decision making, meetings and documents. In the current we should not wait for changes to written rules, and laws, to allow for this. Instead governments, and the heads of associations can endorse the practice. This approach has worked in the past for making the Internet part of daily life.

Organizations across Australia are continuing to have meetings in person, as their rules and legislation does not specifically authorize electronic meetings. I suggest that these bodies meet electronically, where logistics allow. We should not waste time, and risk lives, waiting for a change to black letter law.

Similarly, I suggest Governments announce that restrictions on tele-medicine are lifted. All health professionals should be able to help patients though any communication channel, where it is practical for them to do so.

As an IT professional, I have assisted in the conversion of manual government and non-government processes online. This was done for reasons of efficiency. It is time, I suggest, to make this chnage across Australia, to save lives. In many cases when my colleagues and I proposed changes we were told that this was contrary to the law. In all cases I found that there were no law specifically banning electronic work. In same cases there was already law which allowed older forms of electronic working, such as with telegrams and telex, going back decades. In other cases it was just that no one had thought to use electronic means. As an example, the Australian Government got web sites, not because a law was changed to allow it, but because a group of people, referred to as the Internet Cabal, did it.

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