A number of items on the agenda of the Thirteenth Ministerial Meeting of the Online and Communications Council (the Online Council) are of potential interest to The Medium readers. We will deal with different agenda items in coming weeks. This week we cover Connected Government and the Smartcard Framework.
The Australian Government, State and Territory Ministers and the Australian Local Government Association met in Canberra on 8 September 2006, for the meeting of the Online Council. The meeting was chaired by Senator The Hon. Helen Coonan, Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts and The Special Minister of State, the Hon. Gary Nairn MP.
The broad ranging agenda included the draft Broadband Blueprint, progress of Connect Australia initiatives, broadband policy, Australia's ICT capability, e-security, e-government and digital television spectrum.
The Online Council views Connected Government as being fundamentally concerned with improving service delivery and efficiency across government jurisdictions in Australia, with a key enabler being ICT. They noted that significant issues arise because of jurisdictional boundaries.
A cross-jurisdictional Chief Information Officers' Committee, established in August 2004, has been collaborating on five e-government areas on behalf of the Online Council:
- trusted and connected government;
- skills and sourcing;
- shared services;
- project management; and
- service delivery measurement.
The Online Council heard that progress has been made on smartcard and authentication frameworks, ICT procurement, ICT skills, project management and service delivery measurement.
Smartcard and Authentication
The first two elements of the Australian Government Smartcard Framework, the Overview and Principles and the Smartcard Handbook were launched on 29 June 2006. This framework is intended to promote consistent and interoperable approach to the use of smartcard technology within and between jurisdictions.
The Online Council agreed in principle that:
- the principles outlined in the Australian Government Smartcard Framework become the national smartcard principles; and
- a consistent standards-based approach to smartcard implementations across all levels of government in Australia, as set out in the framework should be adopted.
Keep an eye out for future articles from the Online Council Meeting Agenda!