Open Technology Foundation prepares for June launch

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Open Technology Foundation prepares for June launch

Seeks to promote open technology in government.

The Open Technology Foundation (OTF) will launch next month, after having secured interim board members from State and Federal Governments in Australia and New Zealand.

Led by former South Australian Government ICT service delivery director Stephen Schmid, the Foundation aimed to promote and support open technology in public sector organisations.

Schmid declined to identify interim board members, but noted that each represented Queensland, Western Australia, Northern Territory, South Australia and the New Zealand Federal Government.

Board members would be announced by the OTF’s chairperson, who had yet to be appointed, he said.

“Over the next month or two, we will be looking at options for a suitable chair; someone with significant influence in Australia and New Zealand and Government connections,” Schmid told iTnews.

Schmid said the OTF had informally approached a “Gershon-level” candidate who seemed interested in the position, noting that the candidate was not Government advisor Sir Peter Gershon himself.

Schmid will travel to Canberra this week to meet Federal Government representatives and complete the paperwork required to establish the OTF as an international incorporated association.

When incorporated, the bilateral foundation is expected to represent Australia and New Zealand Governments in sharing best practices and knowledge with other countries.

Incorporation would also enable “any public sector organisation to join up” with minimal difficulty, Schmid said.

The OTF is the product of two years of planning and consultation, and will be established in the Carnegie Mellon University’s Adelaide campus.

“It's establishment will provide a cross-jurisdictional perspective to create solutions to common challenges such as difficult economic conditions and high public expectations of efficiency, and effectiveness,” Schmid said.

“It will also aim to cut costs associated with proprietary software and increase the level of interoperability in accordance with ISO international standards.”

Dong Tran, Deputy Director General of the Hi-Tech Department in Vietnam’s Ministry of Science and Technology of Vietnam said there was “significant interest across the globe” for such an alliance.

“Benefits to us all of knowledge exchange in this area are substantial,” he stated. “The Open Technology Foundation will play a pivotal role in this alliance representing the Australian and New Zealand Government sector.”

The OTF is expected to become an international incorporated association in late June.

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