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Home Features NICTA’s government innovation drive, funded or not
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DEPARTMENTSDepartment of Communications and the Arts
TAGS e-government, Technology, Open data, ACT Government, Open government, NICTA, Phil Robertson, Sydney Water, National ICT Australia
National ICT Australia is working with government agencies across jurisdictions to drive efficiency through innovation … whether the Commonwealth is going to fund it or not.
The federal government may have turned its back on providing core funding for National ICT Australia, but that won’t stop the unique not-for-profit working to create public value and collaborating with government agencies.
Despite considerable anxiety among NICTA’s supporters about what the future may hold after federal funding ends in July 2016, there is plenty of confidence within the taxpayer-funded company’s leadership team. Interim CEO Duane Zitzner — quickly brought in to help chart the way forward after former chief Hugh Durrant-Whyte decided he couldn’t work with the board on the transition and resigned in December — says NICTA is “in good shape and well-equipped for this next phase”. He expects to bring word about a new funding model by the end of March.
Chief operating officer Phil Robertson says the world-class research and commercialisation organisation “has a lot of energy and commitment behind it from all parts of the economy” and the way it works won’t change dramatically.
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Stephen Easton is a journalist at The Mandarin based in Canberra. He's previously reported for Canberra CityNews and worked on industry titles for The Intermedia Group.
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There is a surprising shortage of understanding (and indeed existence) of mezzanine finance for advanced technology.. and government is in dire need of it (and has the greatest risk inherent in privacy , data retention, hacking, abuse and surveillance issues which, while isolated from legal accountability, is a rising set of political risks). This is a concise, sober and solid article of the type that many politicians are either unaware of or simply dont seem to understand. Now that NICTA is being unlinked from government funding (and presumably control), this balance can then be communciated far better to both public and political process on the basis of both experience and expertise as well as potential.
Given the moves to quarantine policy articulation-capable community bodies (Community Law Centres a prime example) this freedom might yet prove to be of great benefit to NICTA, both in its marketing of its services and to the community at large. Its a potential significant benefit from federal defunding that I hope NICTA has already actively planned for, and are gearing up for suitably enhanced communication strategies accordingly