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Features

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The key to coexisting peacefully and effectively with political staffers is simple: each of you should understand the other's role

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As every public servant knows, advisers on both sides of politics range from highly competent, agreeable people who work collaboratively with the bureaucracy, to rabid ideologues who regard public servants as something between beasts of burden and monstrous enemies. It’s a bell curve, like any slice of humanity, so most end up being somewhere in the middle.

The role of the Census in improving local area population estimates

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Imagine how difficult it would be for local government decisionmakers if they were unable to obtain accurate estimates of their local area populations. Lateral Economics' Gene Tunny, Matt Balmford and Nicholas Gruen take on the major challenge of finding a robust and defensible methodology for calculating the benefits to the Australian people from having more accurate estimated resident population estimates as a result of Census data.

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Steve Hodgkinson is banning 'stupid digital stuff'. Relentless incrementalism, empowered staff and reusable platforms allow for cheap, fast 'micro services' that users love

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Steve Hodgkinson has been chief information officer at Victoria's Department of Health and Human Services since late 2014. He has spent plenty of time thinking in depth about the exact questions he now confronts at work, having completed a PhD at Oxford examining the centralisation of IT functions in large multi-business organisations.

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A digital government twin can model effects of change over time. It could teach us what structures worked and what didn't, optimising machinery of government

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Allan Barger is a digital government specialist who worked on data.gov.au and most recently in the New South Wales government. He built a simple ‘twin’ -- a digital copy of a system that exists in the real world -- to better understand the shape of government and start a conversation about how we can use technology to help shape a better bureaucracy.