Utilising data to rebuild citizenship in the 21st century


The Digital Transformation Office can’t fix everything that’s wrong in government. Developing capability from within can help bridge the gap between citizen expectation and delivery.

I’m one of the co-founders and the managing director of Code for Australia, but before that I worked in urban planning.

Urban planning is one of the most important professions today, as we now know the importance of designing our cities efficiently and inclusively. But urban planning is one of the most costly industries. In Victoria alone, the state spent over $100 million on a project that never got built.

Even though this project was a total disaster, there wasn’t a crisis team of extremely high-caliber professionals working around the clock for months to get it back on track. It was left idle.

This project is only the tip of the iceberg. Some 94% of all government IT projects that cost more than $10 million fail — either delivered late, over budget or flat don’t work.

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