Source: National Office for the Information Economy
Posted: 11:49 am 22-08-2003
The Interoperability Technical Framework for the Commonwealth Government describes a base set of policies and standards to assist in breaking down barriers and allow seamless provision of information and services between Government agencies.
Australia is currently immersed in transforming the way it delivers services and manages regulatory processes and compliance for citizens, business and communities. Government agencies are working more closely together, taking a whole of government approach to service delivery. The ability to manage information effectively and co-ordinate disparate data sources will be key enablers of this process. The use of information technology to achieve these ends is now referred to as e-government.
Interoperability, or enabling seamless connections, is fundamental to achieving Australia's e-government aims. The whole of government approach we are taking requires a foundation of common standards and enablers. These facilitate cooperation and collaboration across Australian governments, as well as the community and business sectors.
The Interoperability Technical Framework for the Commonwealth Government has been developed by the National Office for the Information Economy (NOIE) and a reference group of senior technical architects drawn from key government agencies. It responds to developments in the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) industry driving business and government in the direction of interoperability and interconnectedness. Its development has also evolved from a number of industry workshops on interoperability held in 2002, as well as consultation with the Australian Information Industry Association.
The Framework specifies agreed technical standards that will enable Commonwealth government ICT systems to communicate and exchange information. The demands of customer-focused service delivery mean government and private sector business operations increasingly intersect. The adoption of common technical protocols and standards will ensure that Commonwealth ICT systems interoperate in a trusted way with partners from industry and other governments. Achieving interoperability will improve efficiency, reduce costs to business and government and will enhance government agencies' capacity to respond to public policy developments.
The Framework represents one of the first steps in developing an online environment where government services are integrated to better serve the needs of business and the community at large. These also provide the means for both government and business ICT systems to communicate and transact.
The Framework exists in recognition that interoperability will develop from a starting point of independent `siloed' environments using different systems, but with a common business need - to exchange data. This framework establishes agreed technical standards but to achieve the wider goals of e-government will require framework agreements around governance, legal, financing and business interoperability.
While it provides an initial structure upon which to build interoperable systems, the Framework will operate as a living document and will continue to develop as improvements and changes in technical, business and administrative processes emerge. The Commonwealth Chief Information Officer Committee (CIOC) has resolved to review the Framework on an annual basis while taking advantage of opportunities as they arise. This review will be a consultative process managed by nominated representatives of the CIOC. This group will maintain the Framework to be responsive to ICT industry trends and agency needs. NOIE will facilitate this process and provide better practise guidance to agencies.
Chair, Commonwealth Chief Information Officer Committee
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