CSIRO says the preservation of privacy and data integrity will both be critical to the success of efforts to develop a new form of electronic service delivery for the Australian government.
And giving the public the ability to engage with the information will be just as vital, according to CSIRO ICT deputy director (research programs) Darrell Williamson.
In the government context, good enterprise and Internet search is essential so that citizens can find out about products and services and how to access them
He says CSIRO's competence around service-oriented architectures, as well as the ability of its technologies to satisfy issues related to privacy and security of data and the preservation of a citizen-centric approach to service delivery, greatly increase the chances of success.
"CSIRO has a specific technology that we can implement basically in an SOA architecture developed jointly under a three-year contract with Boeing, and we will be exploring ways to develop that technology to provide solutions in the e-government space," Williamson says.
"It comes about because how governments arrange information is not necessarily how the customer i.e. the citizen, needs to be serviced. An individual who requires disability services, for instance, may require access to all sorts of services that don't sit across government agencies.
"The sort of technology that we will have is basically essential to allow integration of multiple databases and multiple services, and we can demonstrate that now because we're doing it with other companies and particularly with Boeing in terms of their service applications.
"We know it has benchmarked well, and we know from our own knowledge that it can provide useful solutions, but of course the customer will be in this case government services."
Special Minister for State Gary Nairn announced last month that the agreement represented a significant early step towards delivering on the Australian Government Online Service Point (AGOSP) initiative.
"The AGOSP initiative will usher in a new era of responsive government services," he said.
"AGOSP will enhance the Australia.gov.au Web site to provide simple, convenient access to government information and services for individuals."
AGOSP is to be delivered over four years (from July 2007) with the first major release scheduled for December 2008 and a second major release in December 2010.
CSIRO has a deep and long standing expertise in Internet and enterprise search technologies. In the government context, good enterprise and Internet search is essential so that citizens can find out about products and services and how to access them. Government staff can also find the information they need to do their jobs in file systems, intranets and databases.
"The agreement comes in the light of major initiatives overseas, particularly in Germany and Norway, around the focus on the service agenda to provide these key underpinning technologies that will enable services to be delivered across all of government," Williamson says.