The company which developed the MySchool website, SEMA, was recently presented with an iAward for its work on the site, but the future of the site’s stablemates, MyHospitalsand MyUniversity is not clear.
The Labor Government announced the $1.9 million MyHospitals website just days before the election was called and the administration entered caretaker mode.
The website was intended to allow users to access performance data on hospitals, measured against national averages in surgery waiting times, emergency department care, bed numbers, and other key performance indicators. A page for the site exists at myhospitals.gov.au, under the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare logo, simply stating ‘starting soon’.
The Council of Australian Governments (COAG) agreed to a new reporting program required by the National Health and Hospitals Network (NHHN). Under the reporting framework, all signatories must undergo quarterly performance assessments against standardised benchmarks. The COAG agreement states that all of this information is to be published online in a comparable form.
Although originally scheduled to go live in August, all work will be in hiatus until a government can be formed.
The Coalition has yet to confirm what they intend to do with the reporting program in the event that they form the next government, but there has been opposition to some aspects of the website from Coalition health spokesman Peter Dutton.
The future of the MyUniversitywebsite is even less certain not only because of the unresolved status of the next government, but because its development is not likely to have been as advanced as the MyHospitals site. The initiative was announced by Julia Gillard in March, while she was still Minister for Education, Employment, Industrial Relations and Social Inclusion. At the time Ms Gillard proposed a website where prospective students could compare information on student-to-staff ratios, graduate outcomes, student satisfaction and fee information for all of Australia’s 39 universities.
The website, which was projected to be ready for use in 2012, is absent from the Coalition’s Tertiary Education Agenda.
Business Processing Outsourcing firm SEMA was awarded the national eGovernment iAward by the Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA) in August, for its work on the My School website and associated data collection and management. The website publishes National Assessment Program Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) data on each school in the country.
The company was responsible for developing the database that stores the NAPLAN scores, and the public interface where they could be accessed. They were also required to make the data on each school comparable, by combining and referencing millions of data strings to allow comparisons against statistically similar schools as well as the national average.