The Federal Government has released a public service mobile roadmap targeted at agency CIOs, executives and managers to meet its target of 80 percent of Australians using mobile government services by 2020.
The roadmap was released today alongside an update to the Government’s National Digital Economy Strategy. Advancing Australia as a Digital Economy is the first in a series of updates the Government plans to release regularly, and highlights 24 actions the Government will take to move Australia into the digital era.
The Government’s mobile roadmap outlines a united approach to adopting mobile technology as part of its plan to require government agencies to make key services available online and on mobile by the end of 2017.
The mobile roadmap includes:
- customer-facing services into mobile channels;
- improving workplace productivity through mobile technology;
- increasing capability to develop and support mobile solutions;
- adopting a design approach with industry;
- and establishing policies, standards and practices to assist the efficient adoption of mobile solutions.
The Government will work in conjunction with the Chief Information Officers’ Committee (CIOC) to develop guidance on optimising websites for mobile, developing mobile applications for services across multiple agencies, open access for third-party developers, the financial costs involved, and an agency BYOD policy.
By the end of this year, the Australian Government Information Management Office (AGIMO) will help develop a framework of policy for the use of mobile technology, create a central register of government mobile applications and identify issues with BYOD for agencies.
By next June it will publish a best practice guide for BYOD policy implementation.
Government agencies are likely to release relevant information to third-party developers for the creation of new services in 2015 after the opportunities are studied this year.
Agencies trial telework
The Government will trial telework with seven government agencies from July this year to boost Australia’s lagging approach to telework compared to international counterparts.
The Government wants 12 percent of public service employees to have a formal telework agreement by 2020. Australia currently has 4 percent of teleworking employees across the public sector.
From July next year all public service agencies will detail which positions in their workforce are eligible for telework, while those excluded will be reviewed annually.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics, the Australian Taxation Office, Treasury, and the departments of Communications, Education, Industry and Immigration will all participate in the trial.
A digital Australia
Under the new update to the NDES the Government has introduced a range of actions it plans to take to give Australia a new direction following the slow-down of the resources boom.
It said it would
- release the currently-under-development National Plan to Combat Cybercrime by mid this year, which will outline how government agencies should respond to cybercrime, as well as its Big Data Strategy;
- consider open access to the Geo-coded National Address File (G-NAF);
- develop one national spectrum allocation for train communications systems in metropolitan and regional areas;
- and offer free wi-fi to remote Indigenous communities
The National Plan to Combat Cybercrime will include the creation of a centralised online system for reporting cybercrime, called the Australian Cybercrime Online Reporting Network (ACORN).
Along with allowing people to report instances of cybercrime it will refer reports to relevant agencies and collect data on the types of cybercrime being reported.
According to the update, Telstra is working in conjunction with the Government to make the Government's Cybersafety Help Button on some of Telstra’s point of sale mobile devices. The Government said the button had been downloaded to 889,000 devices at the end of April this year.
Filling the IT worker gap
The Government also said it would finalise a new curriculum for schools which will include two technology-focused subjects, Digital Technologies and Design Technologies, running until Year 8.
Encouraging school students towards a career in IT would help fill the the 6000-strong hole of IT workers the country is currently experiencing, the Government said.
Graduates currently lack the required skills, forcing businesses to turn to skilled migrant workers.
“It is clear that as the demand for productivity enhancing ICT-related skills increases across a wide range of industry sectors, the growing shortage of these skills represents an increasingly critical challenge for Australia.
"Meeting this challenge requires a long-term strategy to build digital literacy and an interest in ICT careers.”
The changes to the curriculum form part of the Government's Digital Careers program, co-ordinated by NICTA, which aims to address the shortage of students in IT-related high school courses.
The Government has allocated $6.5 million to the program - a contribution which will be matched by industry, universities and state governments.
The cloud hub of Asia
The Government last month released its National Cloud Computing Strategy, aimed at ensuring agencies adopt public cloud services to reduce costs and improve service delivery.
The Department of Finance and the AGIMO have been tasked with drafting guidance on this by the end of this year.
No further details were provided in today’s update. The Government reiterated its commitment to ensuring agencies consider cloud services for relevant ICT procurements and said Australia was well-positioned to become the “cloud hub of Asia”.