Excellence in e-Government Awards: 2006 Finalist Case Studies


Excellence in e-Government Awards: 2006 Finalist Case Studies

Excellence in e-Government Awards

December 2006

2006 Finalist Case Studies

‘Inspiring agencies to excel and achieve in e-government’

Australian Government Information Management Office

Excellence in e-Government Awards

December 2006

2006 Finalist Case Studies

‘Inspiring agencies to excel and achieve in e-government’

Australian Government Information Management Office

© Commonwealth of Australia 2006

ISBN (print): 1 921182 33 4

ISBN (online): 1 921182 35 0

This work is copyright. Apart from any use as permitted under the Copyright Act 1968, no part may be

reproduced by any process without prior written permission from the Commonwealth. Requests and

inquiries concerning reproduction and rights should be addressed to the Commonwealth Copyright

Administration, Attorney General’s Department, Robert Garran Offices, National Circuit, Barton ACT 2600

or posted at http://www.ag.gov.au/cca


1 Winner 2006 e-Award 1

Department of Urban Services 3


2 Highly Commended 2006 e-Award 7

Department of Industry, Tourism and Resources 9

Hobsons Bay City Council 12

3 Finalists 2006 e-Award 17

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare 19

Centrelink 22

Department for Community Development, Western Australia 26

Department of Innovation, Industry and Regional Development, Victoria 29

Department of Premier and Cabinet, Victoria 32

National Native Title Tribunal 35

Shellharbour City Council 39

Wheat Export Authority 42

4 The awards process 45

Nomination criteria 47

How the awards were judged 47

Judging panel 48

e-Award for Excellence in e-Government 2006



The Hon. Gary Nairn MP

The Excellence in e-Government Award (e-Award) was introduced in 2006 by

the Australian Government to promote excellence in the use of information and

communications technology (ICT) in Australia at all levels of government.

The inaugural e-Award was presented on 10 May 2006 in association with the

e‐Government Forum at CeBIT Australia 2006 in Sydney. The e-Award will be presented

annually as an integral part of CeBIT Australia, Australasia’s largest ICT event. This

will provide an excellent opportunity to highlight the innovative work that is being

undertaken across all levels of government in Australia to an international audience.

The primary focus of the e-Award is the promotion of excellence in the use of

ICT. It recognises the most outstanding projects in e-government that have been

implemented in the past two years, based on the positive impact they have had on the

lives of Australian citizens, the community and business.

It is most encouraging that, in the first year of the e-Award, 35 high quality entries were

received across all levels of government – including local government authorities. The

entries were judged by a panel of six government and industry representatives. The

judges refrained from assessing entries from their own jurisdictions and I would like

to thank them for their high degree of professionalism in the difficult task of selecting

winners from entries of such an excellent standard.

The judges were looking for projects which significantly improve services for the

individual, community, business or between government departments, as well as projects

which use ICT innovatively to create new or different approaches to service delivery.

This publication showcases the projects which were selected as finalists in the inaugural

e-Award and includes the winner and the highly commended projects.

Congratulations to all the entrants and the successful projects. I encourage government

agencies to continue to support the e-Award so that it grows into a highly prized

recognition of excellence and innovation in the delivery of government services.


Special Minister of State

December 2006

e-Award for Excellence in e-Government 2006


Winner 2006 e-Award

Department of Finance and Administration









Department of Urban Services

Australian Capital Territory

WebTest — Learner Licence

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Australian Government Information

Management Office

“Inspiring agencies to excel and achieve”





Department of

Urban Services

Learner Licence

Knowledge WebTest

The winner of the inaugural e-Award for Excellence in e-Government

was the ACT Department of Urban Services for its Learner Licence

Knowledge WebTest.


Every year around 10 000 people in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) take one of the

first steps in gaining their drivers licence when they sit a test to obtain their learners

permit. Thanks to the development of the Learner Licence Knowledge WebTest by the

ACT Department of Urban Services, this has now become a whole lot easier.

WebTest is a single online database that allows Canberrans to do the test for their

learners permit at any computer connected to the internet. Previously they could do the

test only at one of 60 standalone databases that were located across the territory, mainly

in secondary schools.


WebTest uses an online database of questions to securely and consistently deliver the

learners permit test to any location via the internet. As it is based on a single database

of questions, WebTest can bring together the practice test and the real test, which were

previously two separate functions. Further, the single database allows questions and

answers to be modified online in real time.

The practice test draws from the extensive bank of questions in the database to present

questions randomly to unidentified users.

In the real test, identified users are presented with 35 questions, which are randomly

selected across all categories. Answers within each question are also presented in

random order. To achieve an overall pass, the person taking the test must answer a

minimum number of questions correctly in several categories.

WebTest’s sophistication extends to being able to recognise when a user is trying to

change their answer to a question by returning to a previous screen and submitting

a different response. This is often a challenge with web-based applications, but the

technology underlying WebTest means that a person cannot use such things as ‘back’

and ‘refresh’ keys to influence their results.

e-Award for Excellence in e-Government 2006

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An added feature of WebTest is that test results are available immediately to the person

doing the test, the test facility and ACT Government shopfronts. Statistics are compiled

in real time and can be analysed remotely. There are inbuilt safeguards to limit access to

personal information.

As WebTest draws from a single database of questions, the same infrastructure can

serve as both a teaching and examination tool. So not only can people use it to obtain

a learners permit, but they can also use it when preparing to get a learners permit—or

even brush up on their knowledge of the road rules if they are already on the road!

Unlike the dispersed access databases, WebTest is highly scalable and fully engineered

to ensure virtually 100 per cent availability. The hardware and software used for WebTest

automatically reacts to peaks and troughs in use, drawing on the resources it needs at

any one time in order to provide a responsive service. This means it can accommodate

extreme peaks and troughs in use without requiring changes to the system.


Perhaps one of the greatest advantages of WebTest is the convenience it offers people in

being able to do their learners permit test from any computer connected to the internet,

rather than having to make a booking and travel to one of the 60 sites previously located

across the territory.

But WebTest has a number of other positive outcomes for both users and the

Department of Urban Services.

People no longer have to wait 24 hours once they pass the test before visiting a shopfront

to obtain their learners permit. Because WebTest enables statistics to be compiled in real

time, test results are available immediately to not only the person taking the test but

also to the test facility and shopfronts. This has overcome the problem of people who

have passed the test arriving at shopfronts to obtain a licence, only to find that their test

results had not yet been forwarded by the test facility.

Consolidating test data previously required extensive manual intervention, with test

facilitators, for example, having to email results to a central person to be reformatted and

re-entered into another database before they could be accessed by staff at a shopfront.

Mr Simon Bolton from the ACT Department

of Urban Services receives the 2006 e-Award,

presented by Ms Ann Steward on behalf of the

Hon. Gary Nairn, Special Minister of State.

Image courtesy of Hannover Fairs Australia.

Photograph taken at the ICT Celebration

Dinner, CeBIT Australia 2006.

e-Award for Excellence in e-Government 2006

WebTest collects a wealth of statistically significant data, such as the pass or fail rate for

each question. This enables the department to analyse, cross-check and subsequently

refine questions to differentiate between levels of knowledge. For example, questions

showing a 100 per cent pass mark are reviewed because they are unlikely to be playing a

role in determining a student’s level of knowledge. Similarly, the department scrutinises

questions that have a below 50 per cent pass rate because the framing of the question,

rather than the knowledge required to answer it, is most likely the cause of the fail rate.

The data collected through WebTest also enables the department to understand other

factors, such as the impact of English as a second language on the pass/fail rate.

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While the 60 separate databases located across the territory were state of the art when

originally implemented, updating and supporting them was becoming increasingly

problematic and expensive for the department. For example, when the default suburban

speed limit was revised to 50 kilometres an hour, each site had to be visited to manually

make the changes. Further, there was significant downtime and support was sporadic,

depending on where a database was located. As a single online database, WebTest

overcomes these problems.

Future directions and lessons learnt

Using the statistics collected from people using WebTest, the department will continue

to build and refine the question database in order to make it the most effective test tool

it can. This refinement will include revising the wording of questions and improving the

associated images.

With the increasing ubiquity if ICT and greater mobile connectivity, it will be worth

revisiting the test delivery mechanism to see how such things as mobile phones could be

leveraged to further improve the service.

WebTest shows the gains that can be made in both efficiency and effectiveness when

disciplined business analysis is combined with state-of-the-art ICT hardware and

software, best practice test administration and an overwhelming desire to improve

customer service.

Interestingly, it is not only the ICT component of the WebTest project that provides value

for money for taxpayers. In designing WebTest, the department extensively analysed

processes, used stakeholder focus groups and documented the detailed business

requirements in plain English. This approach reduced the cost of building WebTest by

some 75 per cent, with the quote received before the analysis was undertaken being

four times more than the quote received for building the application once the analysis

was completed.

Project name: WebTest

Project URL: http://www.roadready.act.gov.au or http://roadready.act.gov.au/test

Date of project: November 2005

Agency: Intact (for Department of Urban Services)

Contact: Mr Simon Bolton

e-Award for Excellence in e-Government 2006

Highly Commended 2006 e-Award

Department of Industry, Tourism and


Australian Government

business.gov.au Redevelopment Project


As anyone involved in business knows only too well, anything that can reduce the time

they spend on administration and allow them to focus on their core business is a real

bonus. So it is little wonder that businesses have welcomed the redevelopment of


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The Department of Industry, Tourism and Resources developed the business.gov.au

website (previously called the Business Entry Point) to streamline business access to

government services across the board. Although an evolving service, it was apparent in

2004 that the products on the website needed to be further integrated to better meet

the needs of businesses.

So, following consultation and research with users, agencies, intermediaries and small

business, the department redeveloped business.gov.au and related services in 2004 and

relaunched it in June 2005. Since then business.gov.au has become Australia’s leading

government website for business.

business.gov.au facilitates business transactions with federal, state and local

government. In doing this, it eases the compliance burden on business and makes it

easier and cheaper for them to deal with all levels of government.

It was the first truly whole-of-government service delivery initiative in Australia and was

a world leader in providing internet access points for business.

The business.gov.au website

was redeveloped in consultation

with stakeholders to improve

business access to government


Image courtesy of the

Department of Industry,

Tourism and Resources.

e-Award for Excellence in e-Government 2006

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The redeveloped business.gov.au features simplified navigation, improved search tools,

increased usability and functionality, and a sharper website layout. It also hosts the ABN

Lookup service, which has become an invaluable tool in everyday business; and the award

winning content syndication service, which has attracted worldwide interest.

Content syndication enables other organisations to publish business.gov.au information

and services on their own websites for free. A really simple syndication feed is also

available—and particularly popular with individuals and smaller businesses. Since the

redevelopment, the number of content syndication partners has increased by over

40 per cent. They include major banks, industry associations, chambers of commerce and

local and state governments.

The business.gov.au Redevelopment Project innovatively applied numerous technologies,

including open interoperability standards to ensure access by a wide range of browser

types. Further, the infrastructure is scalable, enabling the system to accommodate

extreme peaks and troughs in use without major changes. Importantly, this has also led

to flexibility in supporting new government policies.

A new content system was applied to make it easier to update and create the website,

and to make it easier and faster to provide accurate and timely information to businesses.

Using web services to deliver products such as the ABN Lookup service was also an innovative

use of technology, leading the way for responsive online government service delivery.

Another feature was the addition of an innovative search function. Known as the Business

Resource Facility, it incorporates an advanced search engine that allows businesses to

search for information using concepts and context, rather than just simple keywords.


The business.gov.au Redevelopment Project improved the user interface, functionality,

content and integration of business.gov.au services. This has significantly facilitated

business interactions with government by providing a more user-friendly environment in

which they can conduct business and comply with government regulations.

Since the redevelopment, business.gov.au has become a major player in the Australian

online business environment. Use has increased significantly to around 270 000 unique

visitors and over 6 million ABN Lookups a month. There are now also around

220 organisations syndicating business.gov.au content on over 260 websites.

The positive feedback and substantial growth in awareness and use indicate that the

site and its services are meeting the needs of the small business community. A recent

evaluation found that the economic return on investment of around $9 million for

business.gov.au and its related services is at least five-fold.


e-Award for Excellence in e-Government 2006

Ms Kerri Hartland, Mr Paul Griffin

and Mr Anthony Steve from the

Department of Industry, Tourism

and Resources receive the highly

commended e-Award, presented

by Ms Ann Steward on behalf of

the Hon. Gary Nairn, Special Minister

of State.

Image courtesy of Hannover Fairs

Australia. Photograph taken at

the ICT Celebration Dinner, CeBIT

Australia 2006.

business.gov.au has taken the lead across all levels of government in Australia to improve

service delivery. This leadership and the reputation of the service have significantly raised

the profile of some of the key issues facing business.

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Benefits to agencies have included the development of common standards and protocols

to facilitate machine-to-machine communication and the sharing of standards and

protocols with other agencies and jurisdictions. This allows agencies to avoid costs and take

advantage of tested solutions for e-business processes.

Integration of the Business Resource Facility with business.gov.au has helped businesses

find the information they need, and the technology has been made available to a range

of other government agencies.

The business model and enterprise architecture have provided valuable lessons to other

government service delivery projects and, being scalable, can meet the demands of other

groups apart from business.

Future directions and lessons learnt

business.gov.au and its services have been acknowledged as world leaders in their field.

Its content syndication model is a model other agencies and nations are continually

studying and emulating, and the department is helping Canada and New Zealand set up

a similar operation.

It has become apparent that the return on the business.gov.au investment does not

primarily flow directly to the Department of Industry, Tourism and Resources, but to the

wider community of government, private sector organisations and small businesses.

Project name:

Project URL:

business.gov.au Redevelopment Project


Date of project: June 2005



Department of Industry, Tourism and Resources

Mr Mike Sibly

e-Award for Excellence in e-Government 2006


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Greenlight Online Permit Manager


With a decreasing supply of qualified and experienced planners, Hobsons Bay City

Council in Melbourne embarked on a process to improve the town planning process.

Its aim was to improve efficiencies, reduce delays, increase transparency and create a

more user-friendly environment for everyone involved in the process.

Following eight months of design and development, the council unveiled its Greenlight

Online Permit Manager—Australia’s first fully integrated online town planning permit

management system. Greenlight provides an alternative to the paper trail usually

associated with town planning applications, enabling residents, developers and others to

submit applications online at any time and track the entire process right through to the

final approval.

This state-of-the-art software was specifically designed and developed by and for local

government planning departments and covers the entire town planning process.


Developed in partnership with software developer E-vis Pty Limited, Greenlight has fully

automated the traditionally bureaucratic town planning process. It enables planning

permit and subdivision applications, general enquiries, enforcement matters, liquor

licensing, appeals and even planning scheme amendment requests to be done online.

The system allows for anyone to use it 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, rather than being

limited to the traditional council operating hours of 9.00am to 5.00pm, Monday to

Friday. Whether it is to lodge an application, respond to a referral, check the status of an

application, lodge an objection or view a set of plans for a neighbouring development,

Greenlight allows residents and other stakeholders to access information at a time that

is convenient to them. This is particularly important, given that 30 to 40 per cent of such

activity is done outside of normal business hours.

The Greenlight Online Permit Manager has fully automated

the entire town planning process for the residents of

Hobsons Bay, Victoria.

Image courtesy of Hobsons Bay City Council.


e-Award for Excellence in e-Government 2006

Greenlight automatically creates a range of documents, such as letters, permits, referrals

correspondence and reports. Further, it automatically indexes and stores documents,

providing a full audit trail, and allows information to be shared among different

departments within the council.

Greenlight is unique in that each and every component of the software package was

designed and developed by the people directly involved in these everyday processes.

Cashiers, customer service officers, records, information technology staff, administrative

officers, statutory and strategic planners, enforcement officers, privacy officers and

internal and external referral agencies were all asked to contribute to the development of

the software.


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Greenlight Online Permit Manager is cost‐effective, reliable and, most importantly, saves

time for everyone involved—from residents to the CEO. Compared to the previously

paper-based process, Greenlight has improved service delivery to residents and

transformed the council’s town planning process. Approximately 20 per cent of permits

are now lodged online and approximately 40 per cent of all permit processing is now

done via the internet.

For residents and other stakeholders, Greenlight means that the days of having to

contact or travel to council during working hours are over. They can go online at any time

to lodge planning applications or undertake a range of associated tasks, such as asking

for advice, viewing plans, searching for applications of interest in their area or lodging a

complaint about a planning matter. And once an application is lodged online, customers

can log in and follow their application’s progression.

From the council’s perspective, Greenlight has provided an innovative solution to a

number of issues confronting local governments, including more efficient and effective

processing, resource savings, and a more transparent and accessible service. In the first

18 months of use, Greenlight has been reaping returns in a number of areas.

Mr Eric Braslis from Hobsons Bay City Council

receives the highly commended e-award,

presented by Ms Ann Steward on behalf of the

Hon. Gary Nairn, Special Minister of State.

Image courtesy of Hannover Fairs Australia.

Photograph taken at the ICT Celebration Dinner,

CeBIT Australia 2006.

e-Award for Excellence in e-Government 2006


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More efficient and effective processing has reduced the median time taken by the council

to complete an application—from 88 days (in 2003–04) to 34 days (in 2004–05), which is

well below the regulatory requirement of 60 days.

Automated processing and document creation have reduced the incidence of human

error (reduced risk), increased productivity, and produce better decisions as a result of

increased time to review and assess applications. In fact, Hobsons Bay City Council is the

only council in Victoria to have received a perfect score from its risk insurers, CMP.

This automation has streamlined planning and cut down on lengthy administrative

processes, allowing planners to spend the bulk of their time on the expert task of

assessing applications, rather than doing administrative tasks.

A positive outcome of the decreasing demand on planning resources is that the council

can redeploy customer service and other related staff to other work.

The online system has also increased the council’s planning information management

compliance to 100 per cent. All 15 000 documents created by Greenlight during 2004–05

were automatically indexed and stored, with a full audit trail. Greenlight allows for

improved documentation and information management as everything is online in the one

area and the system enables data to be shared among other departments in the council.

The automated features of Greenlight, combined with systems online capabilities, have

provided a significant return on investment, leading to direct savings in:

• records management—less processing requirements, storage and retrieval, postage

and handling (35 per cent of all Greenlight correspondence is electronic);

• phone enquiries and counter enquiries—reduced substantially as people can now

look at plans online, without having to phone or come into council offices during

business hours;

• photocopying—reduced by 40 per cent as documents are lodged, received and

distributed electronically; and

• technical support—reduced technical support and overheads through hosted solutions.

These outcomes have also led to environmental benefits.

Finally, enabling developers and residents to submit applications online at any time

and track the entire process right through to the final approval has resulted in a more

transparent and accessible service.

Overall, the Greenlight Online Permit Manager has been an overwhelming success across the

organisation and has been well received by the development industry and residents alike.


e-Award for Excellence in e-Government 2006

Future directions and lessons learnt

Following the success of online town planning, the council is working on introducing

similar processes for other council services, including building approvals, local laws and

environmental health.

Macedon Ranges Shire Council and Moira Shire Council have recently purchased the

Greenlight Online Permit Manager, and several other Victorian and interstate councils are

reviewing the system as an opportunity to improve their planning processes.

The project has proven that local government is a dynamic industry that is supported

by enthusiastic and creative officers wanting to make a positive impact on their local


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Project name: Greenlight Online Permit Manager

Project URL: https://greenlight.e-vis.com.au/hbcc/public/main.aspx

Date of project: May 2004

Agency: Hobsons Bay City Council

Contact: Mr Eric Braslis

e-Award for Excellence in e-Government 2006


Finalists 2006 e-Award

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare

Australian Government

METeOR Metadata Online Registry


It is widely recognised in the world of information and statistics that data definitions

and standards (metadata) are crucial to data quality because they enable all people

collecting, using and exchanging data to share the same understanding of its meaning

and representation. Metadata needs to accompany data being transmitted, otherwise

the data cannot be understood.

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This is certainly the view of the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, which collates

and publishes national health, community services and housing assistance statistics and

related information. The institute has for many years been at the forefront of employing

metadata management technologies to manage data standards.

In mid-2005 the institute launched its Metadata Online Registry (METeOR), an entirely

web-based system for managing data standards in the health, community services and

housing assistance sectors. The registry is the repository of the metadata that provides

the underlying structure to support the collection, exchange, reporting and use of data

within a defined context.

Based on the ISO/IEC 11179 international standard for metadata registries, the new

system has revolutionised the way users develop, collaboratively review, submit,

process and disseminate new data standards. This has brought real efficiencies into the

institute’s business.


The METeOR initiative was a collaborative effort that involved consultation with all

national committees and government departments that have responsibility for national

health, community service and housing assistance data standards.

METeOR facilitated the well-established governance arrangements in place for these

data standards by embedding them into the system’s workflow. This means that the

decisions and deliberations of national committees are directly reflected in the progress

of content through the system.

The METeOR project customised an existing content management system to serve as a

data standards registry. This approach provided ready access to the basic requirements

for a data standard registry—powerful version control capabilities, record keeping,

audit trails, role-based security, automated email alerts, workflow management and

distributed authoring.

e-Award for Excellence in e-Government 2006


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Another feature of METeOR is that it employs the structures specified in international

standard 11179 as reusable data standard components that can be used across multiple

sectors. This encourages a whole-of-government approach to creating data standards.

All content in METeOR is stored as XML (Extensible Mark-up Language). XML allows

information and services to be encoded with meaningful structure and semantics

that computers and humans can understand. It allows designers to create their own

customised tags, enabling the definition, transmission, validation and interpretation of

data between applications and between organisations. Storing all METeOR content in

XML dramatically improves the opportunities for system interoperability and sharing of

data now and in the future.

Unlike its predecessor, METeOR introduced a whole range of user roles, each with their

particular tools and permissions. It also removed the many paper-based processes

involved in the online data standard lifecycle.


Since its official launch in mid-2005, METeOR has been enthusiastically adopted by

thousands of users and over 200 metadata developers. In particular, the online data

standard creation tools have proved tremendously successful. Ninety private workspaces

have been set up for national committees to collaboratively create and review data

standards online. At present, 35 government agencies and non-government organisations

in Australia are actively participating in online national data standard creation using the

METeOR system. Whereas creating standards was previously a very labour and resource

intensive process, requiring input from many geographically dispersed representatives,

METeOR now provides a shared workspace and extensive support for developing quality

standards cost-effectively.

METeOR’s online data standard creation tools have been very effective in raising the

level of data standard creation, achieving an unprecedented trebling in the number of

metadata items over 12 months. Importantly, METeOR also provides a range of tools to

help staff manage this inflow (that is, tools for bulk processing, comprehensive version

control, detailed help content and publication template management).

Another unique feature of METeOR is the capacity to create data standards by

assembling existing and new data standard building blocks. Consistent with the ‘create

once, use often’ principle, one industry sector can easily reuse existing building blocks

from another sector. This has substantially harmonised national data standards across

multiple sectors, enhancing data comparability between sectors.

Another significant gain from METeOR has been the on-demand publication of

customised selections of data standards into a Word or PDF file, replacing previously

cumbersome and expensive manual processes while at the same time delivering a far

more useful product.

Overall, METeOR has transformed the way that national health and welfare data

standards are developed, managed, accessed and published.


e-Award for Excellence in e-Government 2006

Future directions and lessons learnt

The institute will continue to develop METeOR and implement new enhancements as

uptake of the system increases and user requirements become more sophisticated.

It will take advantage of the fact that the system was designed to be able to extend

from the traditional human-readable formats, such as dictionaries and onscreen

web pages, to new machine-readable formats usable by external systems. For example,

the institute is developing and testing an XML interface that allows electronic transfer

of machine‐readable data standards to external systems to support automated data

collection, validation and cataloguing.

The institute plans to undertake ongoing user interviews and surveys to collate

feedback that will guide system enhancements, including introducing simple formats

for lay users. It is also monitoring national and international trends in metadata/data

standards management and using these ideas to build new tools and structures, such as

terminologies, performance indicators, and mapping across different metadata formats.

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Another plan is to develop nodes that allow collaborating government departments to

manage their own local data standards within a METeOR environment.

METeOR should give health, community services and housing assistance policy makers

in Australia (and at times the world) access to better organised and more accessible

information, leading to better informed assessments and policy decisions. And,

ultimately, it has the potential to support a wider information management strategy

that extends beyond just health and welfare, at local, national and international levels.

Project name: METeOR Metadata Online Registry

Project URL: http://meteor.aihw.gov.au

Date of project: May 2005

Agency: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare

Contact: Mr David Braddock

e-Award for Excellence in e-Government 2006


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Australian Government

Online claims and services


Centrelink plays a pivotal role in delivering Australian Government health and welfare

support services for Australians. With more than 6.4 million customers, Centrelink is

constantly improving the way it delivers these services in order to make access to health

and welfare support easier for Australians and to achieve efficiencies in delivering


Key to improved delivery is Centrelink’s online services, which have been evolving over

recent years to provide more reliable and robust services and system components.

Centrelink’s online services for customers provide a facility through which customers can

view and update a range of their data on the web. The facility enables customers to:

• access their information online, and encourages them to correct inaccurate or

out‐of‐date information, therefore improving the accuracy of their payments;

• lodge a new claim online without the help of a customer service adviser; and

• manage their Centrelink affairs without having to contact a customer service adviser.

Centrelink’s online services include online claiming for students and families, and more

than 40 online services that are accessible to existing Centrelink customers. There are

also a number of services that are accessible to non-Centrelink customers. The first online

claim services were introduced for students claiming Youth Allowance and Austudy in

April 2005, and for Australian apprentices in July 2005. In December 2005 online claiming

was added for families claiming Maternity Payment and Family Tax Benefit. Centrelink is

continuing to expand the online services available to customers.

Centrelink’s online claims and

services have evolved over

recent years to provide more

reliable health and welfare

services to the agency’s clients

and re-engineer business


Image courtesy of Centrelink.


e-Award for Excellence in e-Government 2006

While ICT has enabled online service delivery, Centrelink has worked extensively behind

the scenes to re-engineer the organisation’s business processes and revolutionise

customer relationship management to support these online initiatives.


Recent initiatives include using new service-oriented architecture to make functions

and data contained in Centrelink’s mainframe available to web applications using

web services. This approach also enables information collected via e-government

services to be used throughout the ICT environment, with little or no intervention from

Centrelink staff.

T h r e e F I N A L I S T S 2 0 0 6 e - A W A R D

Online services are now being developed using industry standard technology, which

provides an increasing opportunity to deliver services that cross traditional system and

agency boundaries.

Already, reuse of systems and functionality is delivering cost efficiencies, reducing

development time and providing standardised, consistent services and user interfaces

to customers. Online services under development will reuse existing web services to

leverage previous investment in ICT.

The development of online services within Centrelink has been supported by a

transformation in business processes, including:

• the development of ICT architecture and technology to enable online services to be

continuously improved;

• extensive user testing and customer consultation through user-centred design teams

and customer research, web metrics and value creation workshops;

• changes to the service delivery strategy across all customer channels, including

promoting online services during all customer contact, such as telling people about

the availability of emailed links to the online claiming application when they phone;

• a focus on service delivery through a combination of channels;

• strategic and targeted marketing of online claims and services, including online and

offline advertising, link building and affiliated marketing tactics; and

• SMS and email reminders of any further action required.

Providing people with access to the information Centrelink holds about them provides

greater transparency and empowers customers to correct and update their information

as their circumstances change—all from the comfort of their own home.

Ensuring customers are better informed about their entitlements and making it easier

for them to change their details as their circumstances change is helping to prevent new

Centrelink debts.

The simplicity of Centrelink's new online services allows the general population to check

their payments and information and complete many transactions online without the

need to have specialist policy knowledge or to visit a Centrelink office.

e-Award for Excellence in e-Government 2006


T h r e e F I N A L I S T S 2 0 0 6 e - A W A R D

Centrelink’s online services are subject to extensive user-assisted design and user

testing. In Centrelink’s dedicated User Assurance facility in Adelaide, early versions of

online claims for families and students are tested by real customers in a range of reallife

scenarios. This helps to improve the intuitiveness of the online services menus and


Online forms and processes have improved the claiming process for many customers

by allowing only relevant question sets to be displayed based on previous answers. The

forms also provide easy access to online glossaries to explain policy and technical terms

that may be confusing.

Centrelink recognises that some customers do not have access to the internet. It is

therefore working to provide alternative access points through standalone computers

accessible throughout the Centrelink network, through agents and through collaborative

agreements with hospitals and other third parties.

The benefits of moving some customer services online are many, including fewer errors,

more accurate payments and less unnecessary customer debt. Of greatest benefit

in the long term will be Centrelink’s ability to provide more intensive, face‐to‐face

support to members of the community most in need of support by removing the

need for customers to visit an office simply to change their address or complete other

straightforward transactions.


Centrelink’s online services are proof that real value can be obtained by making

e‐government services widely accessible, responsive to customer expectations and

integral to government service delivery.

Since April 2005, Centrelink has received over 60 000 new claims online, which

represents up to 30 per cent of all claims received. Additionally, customers conduct more

than 250 000 online service transactions every week.

Centrelink’s online services enable customers to access complete information about their

entitlements, access services quickly and at a time and place convenient to them, and

more easily meet their reporting obligations to government.

In turn, online services enable Centrelink to streamline the claiming process and act on

the information provided more efficiently. They are strengthening the organisation’s

customer focus, providing seamless service for customers, building capability and using

resources efficiently to deliver the best service at the best price.

Improvements to Centrelink’s ICT infrastructure and architecture are enabling the

organisation to deliver more complex and functional e-government services, to

improve business processes, and to provide opportunities to deliver services across

government agencies.


e-Award for Excellence in e-Government 2006

Future directions and lessons learnt

The pathway to more accessible online services has only just begun for Centrelink.

Existing online claim systems have been developed with common question sets and

backend processes that will allow new online claims to be made available quickly.

Centrelink is also already responding to the rising incidence of cyber crime by deploying

and developing more robust and secure identification processes that protect customer

information and ensure doing business with Centrelink online remains a private and

secure alternative.

Additional online services are being added every quarter, with more than 20 additional

services to come online in the next year. They will include secure online letters to replace

paper letters being offered to customers, and more online tools and calculators to help

customers make informed decisions about participation and work choices. The introduction

of a portal platform in late 2006 will enable Centrelink to deliver relevant and personalised

news regarding changes to government policy, program rules and entitlements.

T h r e e F I N A L I S T S 2 0 0 6 e - A W A R D

On behalf of the broader community, Centrelink is developing services for Australians

for disaster relief, a national emergency call centre and various initiatives with the

Department of Human Services and its agencies.

Centrelink is designing systems and services so that Australians can more easily access

health and welfare support and more whole-of-government information and services.

Project name: Online claims and services

Project URL: http://www.centrelink.gov.au

Date of project: April 2005

Agency: Centrelink

Contact: Mr Peter Davis

e-Award for Excellence in e-Government 2006


T h r e e F I N A L I S T S 2 0 0 6 e - A W A R D

Department for Community Development

Western Australia

Central Screening Unit Management System


In 2004 the Western Australian Government passed legislation to make it compulsory for

people who work with children in that state to undergo a national criminal record check,

called the Working with Children Check. Once a person passes the check they receive a

Working with Children Card, which they can then present to any employer as proof of

having undergone a Working with Children Check.

To help implement and manage the legislation, the government deployed a Central

Screening Unit Management System in January 2006. The system, developed by

technology consultant Change Corporation, was designed to underpin the work of the

Working with Children Screening Unit within the Western Australian Department for

Community Development.

The system is a web-enabled application that allows rigorous criminal screening of

people who work with children in Western Australia. It provides consistent standards for

criminal record checking and the ethical use of the information. It is designed to develop

child-safe workplaces by preventing individuals with criminal records that indicate they

may harm children from obtaining a Working with Children Card, and deterring these

individuals from applying to work with children.


The Central Screening Unit Management System provides rich functionality and

application reuse, reducing the complexity of the underlying legislation to simple,

contextual, role-based tasks. Access to certain tasks and information is also controlled

by role.

The Central Screening Unit Management

System was designed to strengthen child

protection in Western Australia, supporting the

development of child-safe workplaces through

the Working with Children Check.

Image courtesy of the Department for

Community Development.


e-Award for Excellence in e-Government 2006

The workflow engine helps drive the high degree of system-to-system and

human‐to‐system interactions required to support the checking process. The system is

highly configurable to ensure that it supports change as processes and the legislation

are refined. For example, new components and data providers can be introduced with

minimal effort.

Another feature of the system is that it provides a document repository for unstructured

content that is generated, retrieved or uploaded to the system, and can audit changes to

letter templates, contextual help and the public website.

The overall result of the above features is less code, fewer defects, quicker delivery and

increased application quality.

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The system is separated into presentation, business services, data access and integration

layers. This simplifies the process of adding additional sources of criminal history,

whether national or international. Additional types of checks, such as employment

checks or checks for other at-risk groups in the community (such as the elderly), can also

be easily added.

As well as supporting human-to-system interactions, the Central Screening Unit

Management System enables data to be instantly exchanged with a range of other

organisations. These include Australia Post, CrimTrac, Western Australia Police and the

card manufacturer. Outside the police, this is the first real-time integration with CrimTrac

for such services.

The system has the capacity to support the processing of up to 2500 new applications a

day, with provision to meet increased demand in the future.

The technology provided the predictability and flexibility needed to design and deliver

within six months, and cost control for ongoing operating/staff costs, as well as future

proofing the system to take advantage of technical advances over the lifetime of

the system.


The Central Screening Unit Management System has significantly strengthened child

protection in Western Australia, supporting the development of child-safe workplaces.

The system has enabled the Department for Community Development to exchange and

update data, in real time, with other organisations, notably:

• Australia Post, which accepts applications for Working with Children Checks over the

counter, manages payments, validates identity and provides broad state coverage;

• CrimTrac, which screens criminal history and provides information about convictions

and spent convictions;

• Western Australia Police, which provides information about pending and nonconviction

charges; and

• the card manufacturer, which issues cards.

e-Award for Excellence in e-Government 2006


T h r e e F I N A L I S T S 2 0 0 6 e - A W A R D

Having Australia Post involved in this way is a first for Working with Children Checks

in Australia. It has the added advantage of leveraging a trusted brand with existing

expertise in these services, reducing the demand on and risk to the government.

The role-based, workflow features of the screening system mask the underlying

complexity of the legislation. They do this by presenting a simple, easy-to-use

interface that enables screening officers to focus on core tasks, reducing the number

of applications presented at any given time based on the user’s role and status of the

application in the workflow. This has increased efficiency.

Further, by providing accurate, relevant data sorted appropriately and based on a robust

security model, the system has improved the decision making of screening officers.

Future directions and lessons learnt

By January 2007 the system is planned to support approved screening by other agencies

in undertaking their own Working with Children Checks. The departments are anticipated

to be the Department of Health, the Department for Education and Training and the

Department of Corrective Services.

The legislation is being phased in and by 2009 the system will be doing daily checks of

any recent criminal activity of up to 250 000 card holders.

As a result of the introduction of the screening system, Western Australia will have the

broadest scope of screening in Australia by 2011. Screening will include those in paid or

volunteer work related to children, and new or existing workers in both the government

and the private sectors.

Project name: Central Screening Unit Management System

Project URL: http://www.checkwwc.wa.gov.au

Date of project: January 2006

Agency: Department for Community Development

Contact: Ms Sandie Van Soelen


e-Award for Excellence in e-Government 2006

Department of Innovation, Industry and

Regional Development


Business Victoria


The number of small businesses in Victoria grew by 16 per cent between 1999 and 2004,

with an increasing number of home-based businesses, independent contractors, and

businesses being operated by women and people born overseas.

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The Victorian Government is committed to working with this diverse and thriving sector

to ensure that every business has the opportunity to grow in a fair, competitive, innovative

and connected economy.

One result of this commitment is the Business Victoria website (www.business.vic.gov.au)

incorporating the Victorian Business Master Key project, which provides a single place for

businesses to find the information they need, ask questions and manage their business

dealings with government. Providing these services in one place, and from a business

perspective, enables businesses to save time and money in complying with the required


In developing the Business Victoria website, the government worked with vendors to

benefit from their expertise in world-leading e‐government projects from around the

world, including Canada and Singapore. It also worked with other government agencies

to capitalise on their expertise in particular areas (such as searching), and establish a

platform for future interoperability and capability sharing.

The site was extensively tested to ensure it was easy for businesses to use and provided

seamless and effective access to information from federal, state and local government

with just a single login.

The project was delivered on time and within budget.


Business Victoria uses innovative, business-focused tools to bring together federal, state

and local government services. It will eventually extend to more than 200 government

agencies. It is available online, by phone, or over the counter.

Key features include:

• a comprehensive website of government information for businesses;

• step-by-step guides which bring together content from all levels of government,

enabling businesses to produce a list of regulatory requirements for their particular


e-Award for Excellence in e-Government 2006


T h r e e F I N A L I S T S 2 0 0 6 e - A W A R D

• the ‘Ask a Question’ integrated enquiry management system, through which

businesses can obtain answers from across government in one contact point

(online, phone);

• a range of advanced search facilities and directories across federal, state and local

government websites, including a contact search by topic, events and training


• a programs, grants and assistance wizard to help businesses find out about

government grants and assistance; and

• an account for businesses to manage all their government regulatory transactions.

The Business Victoria website has a highly robust and secure operating environment that

has the capacity to scale to the needs of every Victorian business.


Business Victoria has produced benefits for both businesses and government, with initial

feedback being extremely positive.

After eight months of operation, use of the service had increased by more than

280 per cent compared with previous comparable services. There are over 65 000 visits a

month, while over 5000 users have a Business Victoria account and over 7000 enquiries

are handled (online and offline) each month. Satisfaction ratings among the

6000 businesses that use the step-by-step guides each month are around 90 per cent.

Use of the service continues to grow at more than 10 per cent each month.

As the service expands it will reduce the administrative burden of compliance for

businesses. The impact on this and economic performance will be measured through

annual surveys. It is anticipated that, in streamlining the administration of regulation

and reducing the compliance burden, Business Victoria will save Victorian businesses up

to $70 million a year once the project is completed.

By increasing the accessibility and delivery of management resources, Business Victoria is

also expected to positively influence the level of small business management expertise

and business performance. The combination of less time spent on regulatory compliance

and improved management expertise should lead to better performing businesses,

higher growth and employment, and improved social outcomes.

The Business Master Key project

provides a single place for businesses

to find information through the

Business Victoria website, which has

the capacity to scale to the needs of

every Victorian business.

Image courtesy of the Department

of Innovation, Industry and Regional



e-Award for Excellence in e-Government 2006

For the government, Business Victoria is producing significant cost savings through

shared ICT capabilities and streamlined business processes. These include more efficient

information dissemination, more efficient enquiry management (including through

self-service and first-contact enquiry resolution), and reduced costs associated with

inaccurate data.

The project has provided the government with detailed, research-based knowledge of the

needs of small businesses in relation to regulatory service, and enabled the integration of

nine regulatory agencies and four local councils so far.

Future directions and lessons learnt

T h r e e F I N A L I S T S 2 0 0 6 e - A W A R D

Making the maximum reduction in regulatory compliance costs requires additional

capabilities that are beyond the scope of the initial project. In particular, the project has

focused on online services, while businesses want a joined-up, integrated service where

each channel plays a role (online, phone, and over-the-counter).

While recent steps have improved government service to business, global government

best practice is rapidly advancing, and this initiative will ensure that government service

in Victoria reaches this standard. Improvements over the next few years will mean that

by 2010:

• all business content from the various agencies will be consolidated;

• content will be available in personalised, relevant forms designed for easy learning

and direct application to a business’s circumstances;

• questions will be able to be serviced through a single contact;

• businesses will be able to talk to a support officer while both are viewing the same


• overall interactions will be case managed;

• all transactions will be available through a single login from one location;

• businesses will be able to do transactions with multiple agencies, such as changing

their address;

• all major transactions will be online; and

• businesses will be informed of new information through email updates.

Overall, increased self-service and the use of technology to help resolve enquiries will

improve service and reduce costs for both business and government.

Project name:

Project URL:

Business Victoria


Date of project: September 2005



Department of Innovation, Industry and Regional Development

Mr Dominic Feik

e-Award for Excellence in e-Government 2006


T h r e e F I N A L I S T S 2 0 0 6 e - A W A R D

Department of Premier and Cabinet


Directions Plus


Sixty volunteers, wearing distinctive navy uniforms with an orange Directions Plus

logo, were placed at key locations around Melbourne to ensure visitors to the

2006 Commonwealth Games could find their way to events, restaurants and other

entertainment. During the games, volunteers provided more than 7000 directions to

visitors and spectators across Melbourne.

To help guide visitors, volunteers used Directions Plus, a world-first mobile geospatial

service. Visitor questions were fed into Directions Plus, which then worked out the

optimal public transport route. Visitors could take away a printout (from a volunteer’s

belt-mounted printer) or have details sent by text (SMS) or media message (MMS).

Directions Plus was designed, developed and tested in a mere 10 weeks. It evolved out of

collaboration between the Victorian Government, Geomatic Technologies and Readify.

The project was funded by the Microsoft e-government innovation fund and sponsored

by the Office of the Chief Information Officer.


Traditionally, anyone wanting to access directions electronically would need to use

a PC and internet browser. Directions Plus overcomes this limitation by using a

combination of existing government databases and servers, mobile web and phone

services, and a wireless application that allows communication between personal

electronic appliances. This combination enables direction-giving to become mobile, while

still relying on reliable, up-to-date data sources and management.

Directions Plus volunteers ensured

visitors to the 2006 Commonwealth

Games in Melbourne were directed

easily to events, accommodation and

other services around the city.

Image courtesy of the Department of

Premier and Cabinet.


e-Award for Excellence in e-Government 2006

Users (such as volunteers at the Commonwealth Games) are equipped with a small

mobile and a belt-mounted thermal printer, from which they can produce optimal routes

in the form of a map and written directions. These can be printed or sent to the visitor’s

own mobile phone (or other suitable device)—something a pre-printed map simply could

not deliver.

In generating optimal routes, Directions Plus accesses information from a range of data

sources that can be updated in real time. For example, a specific spatial network data

model, using Melbourne’s public transport and priority walking routes, was used for the

Commonwealth Games.

Unlike a fixed navigation system, the flexibility of the application means that changes

in transport options, such as a tram not operating on a major arterial route, can be

made available to users immediately. For the Commonwealth Games, this meant that

Directions Plus, and games volunteers, could provide local and international visitors with

accurate directions based on up-to-date information on road opening/closings and other


T h r e e F I N A L I S T S 2 0 0 6 e - A W A R D

Part of what kept volunteers up to date, and makes Directions Plus a world-first

application, is that data entered into the underpinning storage systems is available in real

time to the end-user.

This application is also underpinned by a new approach to data ownership and

management. Directions Plus removed traditional data ownership barriers as the

Victorian Government brokered arrangements with industry. The new arrangements

mean that government and industry can continue to access authoritative, accurate

spatial data.

The method of data management, leveraged from within the Department of

Sustainability and Environment, ensures that data that improves e-government

service delivery is consistently managed and maintained for reuse by all. The solution

design approach was to not depend on proprietary data sources such as a numbered

location address.


From the perspective of visitors to the Commonwealth Games, Directions Plus provided

a wonderful service directing them to events, restaurants, accommodation and other

entertainment venues. Directions Plus demonstrated that a system such as this has the

capacity to provide directional services in other contexts, such as emergency situations.

From a government perspective, Directions Plus potentially represents a transformation

in government service delivery.

For example, data collected from using the service will enable analysis of ‘way finding’ to

inform physical infrastructure planning for future events. This same analysis could also

inform emergency managers on the effectiveness of detour and evacuation plans once

they start using the solution. This would help emergency workers, for instance, in making

public announcements about route changes resulting from major incidents in road or rail

infrastructure, or environmental disasters.

e-Award for Excellence in e-Government 2006


T h r e e F I N A L I S T S 2 0 0 6 e - A W A R D

In addition to breaking new ground in developing Directions Plus, the Victorian

Government found that the task built capacity inside government. Working closely with

industry provided the government with the chance to strengthen ICT project governance,

scoping, design and prioritisation.

Future directions and lessons learnt

It is likely that the system will continue to be used for tourism, to provide feedback for

tourism planning, and in emergency services contexts. Directions Plus has the potential

to be used to provide directions for other major tourism events, security and community

safety operations.

Directions Plus has also become a possible export. Since launching the application for

the 2006 Commonwealth Games, the Victorian Government has had interest from

India and the United Kingdom. The government will also consider ways to allow other

governments and industry participants to use the system to improve electronic service


Project name:

Project URL:

Directions Plus

Date of project: 15 March 2006





Office of the Chief Information Officer

(Department of Premier and Cabinet)

Ms Shelley Oldham


e-Award for Excellence in e-Government 2006

National Native Title Tribunal

Australian Government

Native TitleVision


Spatial information plays a fundamental and critical role in native title. Areas of claimant

applications, Indigenous land use agreements and determinations of native title need to

be described geographically and mapped. Future actions such as mining or petroleum

tenements likewise need to be identified.

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Thanks to Native TitleVision, a wide range of people with an interest in native title

matters now have access to such geospatial information.

Native TitleVision is the work of the National Native Title Tribunal, which works to develop

an understanding of native title and to reach enduring native title and related outcomes

that recognise everyone’s rights and interests in land and waters.

Native TitleVision is a browser-based trusted site that provides online access to

up‐to‐date geospatial information on native title matters. It is currently used by more

than 170 organisations across Australia.

Native TitleVision was launched in November 2004 to a wide cross-section of users,

including case officers, lawyers, native title applicants, judges, administrators and

interested parties, geographically distributed across rural, remote and urban Australian

locations. The launch followed a successful trial with the Federal Court.


In order to simplify development and management of Native TitleVision, a combination

of commercial off-the-shelf software was used. This enabled an operational prototype to

be developed in less than two weeks.

Native TitleVision is automatically updated every day from the master geospatial


Users access Native TitleVision through a dedicated trusted site. They can choose their

jurisdiction of interest from a map of Australia or a text list. Once they have selected a

jurisdiction, users can search by a number of options:

• native title determination application;

• native title determination;

• Indigenous land use agreement;

• future act notice or objection;

• mining or petroleum tenement;

• non-freehold tenure (not available for all jurisdictions);

e-Award for Excellence in e-Government 2006


T h r e e F I N A L I S T S 2 0 0 6 e - A W A R D

• conservation or pastoral tenure (not available for all jurisdictions);

• native title representative body;

• local government authority; or

• place names.

As well as searching and visualising, users can also create maps on screen for printing or

saving electronically for transmission via other technologies.

The Native TitleVision screen consists of four areas, as shown in the image below.

1. The map window displays the map, which is drawn from map layers of spatial data,

and map view controls that are used to manipulate the map display.

2. The information panel is located to the right of the map window and displays

attribute information relating to the display in the map window.

3. The search panel appears below the map window and contains the search tabs that

allow querying of the map layers.

4. The system toolbar is located at the bottom of the screen and displays the module

list and a series of system buttons.

The following image demonstrates the wealth of information available to those using

Native TitleVision. In this example, an area where native title has been recognised to exist

is shown superimposed against the current mining tenure of the area, roads, rivers and

railways. An enquiry provides details of the determination, together with a URL link to the

Federal Court judgment.

Image courtesy of the National Native Title Tribunal.


e-Award for Excellence in e-Government 2006

The simplicity of design means that anyone can quickly become productive with the

system, without needing specialist knowledge or training to use it. But an integrated

self‐paced multi-media training tool has been developed to allow first time Native

TitleVision users to become familiar with how to use it and learn more about the

geospatial datasets being integrated.

Native TitleVision features national standard symbols and a display colour scheme that

has been tested against colour blindness charts. Feedback from users continues to

reinforce the intuitiveness of the system.

To further help stakeholders, the tribunal makes its custodial spatial datasets available

online through a collaborative arrangement with Geoscience Australia and the Office of

Spatial Data Management in accordance with the Australian Government Spatial Data

Access and Pricing Policy. This is particularly useful for those who want to compare native

title matters against the data holdings in their own systems—such as mining companies,

and state and federal government agencies. These users can simply download the

information and use it as required. This facility has been in operation since February 2005

and was recently extended to allow users to download data in KML (Keyhole Markup

Language) format to allow integration in Google Earth. The tribunal developed it in

partnership with Geoscience Australia to save having to put in place the necessary

infrastructure to allow data downloads from their site.

T h r e e F I N A L I S T S 2 0 0 6 e - A W A R D

As custodian of native title information, the tribunal has developed data acquisition

or exchange arrangements with most jurisdictions to ensure spatial compatibility

with state and territory spatial frameworks. This ‘fit’ is important in spatial terms, as

‘misfitting’ of data can lead to speculation about which spatial definition is right or

wrong—thus distracting from the question in point.


Native TitleVision has increased the level of understanding of native title among

stakeholders, cutting through land use and ownership disputes that have previously

prevented people coming to an agreement. Its use by the Federal Court, native title

claimants and other parties has helped resolve these disputes by allowing all people

to have similar access to high-level geospatial information. The transparency of the

information provided has fostered closer working relationships among stakeholders.

Native TitleVision has also proved to be an educational tool for communicating an

often complex and legalistic regime to community members and other interest

groups. Glowing testimonials from organisations such as the Federal Court, native title

representative bodies and legal firms have confirmed that Native TitleVision has become

an indispensable tool for visualising native title throughout all stages of the process.

By providing people with a capacity to visualise, enquire and create geospatial

information products from their desktops free or at minimal cost, Native TitleVision has

increased their ability and efficiency to participate in the native title process.

e-Award for Excellence in e-Government 2006


T h r e e F I N A L I S T S 2 0 0 6 e - A W A R D

Providing ready access to this information allows people to gain an understanding of

where these matters are in relation to their own interests, or other things such as towns,

roads, farms and administration areas. In some instances, Native TitleVision has allowed

users to readily determine whether they even need to be party to a native title matter.

Being aware of native title interests over an area of land or water can prevent inadvertent

impairment of Indigenous rights and interests. And an added outcome of Native

TitleVision is that users can enquire about an area, similar to the ‘Dial before you Dig’

process. However, in this context it is from a cultural heritage rather than a physical

infrastructure perspective.

Finally, from the tribunal’s perspective, the reduced level of requests for information has

been a great saving on resources.

Future directions and lessons learnt

The future capacity of Native TitleVision will be influenced by feedback from planned

focus group sessions with existing and prospective users, as well as the strategic progress

of native title resolution, nationally.

Technically, as Australian and state and territory government agencies move towards

developing spatially enabled web services, it is expected that Native TitleVision could

form the geospatial portal for native title services using real-time interoperability to draw

on data from these various custodians. While technically feasible now, its realisation

primarily depends on the access and pricing policies of the custodians and government.

But should it be realised, stakeholders would have access to more timely and consistent

information from which to make more informed decisions.

Using the current Native TitleVision infrastructure, opportunities are being pursued to

develop end-user specific data repositories and views for their access, thus minimising

the need for stakeholders to develop their own system and supporting infrastructure.

This is specifically relevant to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Representative Bodies

across the nation.

Project name:

Project URL:

Native TitleVision

Project date: November 2004




(User name: nntt_guest, Password: nntt_guest)

National Native Title Tribunal

Mr Peter Bowen


e-Award for Excellence in e-Government 2006

Shellharbour City Council

New South Wales

Electronic Development Application


Shellharbour City Council is fast gaining a reputation as a leader in the field of advanced

online technology by providing customers with new and innovative internet services.

Among these services is Electronic Development Application, generally known as eDA.

T h r e e F I N A L I S T S 2 0 0 6 e - A W A R D

eDA is an innovative program that enables authorised members of the public to lodge a

development application online, then track the council’s processing of that application

through to its conclusion. Builders and council staff can also track the progress of the


Developed by Australian firm Internetrix in conjunction with the Shellharbour City

Council, eDA was Australia’s first fully online development application process when

released in March 2003.


Authorised members of the public who have an internet connection, including residents,

ratepayers and developers, can access online applications at any time. Once logged in

using their individual username and password, they can complete any of the available

applications, including development applications, complying development certificates

and construction certificates.

Completing the application is easy, requiring customers to provide only simple details

about the property the application relates to, such as a parcel or rates assessment

number, and any further information required by the application. The application can be

completed and lodged electronically.

By accessing the Shellharbour City

Council website, members of the

public can lodge, and track the

development of, online development


Image courtesy of Shellharbour City


e-Award for Excellence in e-Government 2006


T h r e e F I N A L I S T S 2 0 0 6 e - A W A R D

Because each council is different, the online application platform supports a high degree

of customisation for individual requirements. When a new application is entered, it is

moved to submitted status, and an email goes to council staff alerting them that the

application has been submitted.

eDa undertakes an initial screening, similar to that undertaken at a front counter, and

either accepts or rejects the application. Once an application has been screened and

accepted by customer service, the application manager generates a workflow form.

Through a mechanism similar to an electronic sticky note on a digital file, known as

diary entries, staff can track the progress of an application, communicate with each

other and even delegate activities and responsibilities. Diary entries can also be emailed

to customers, which saves considerable time when compared to the time taken to

create and post traditional letters and other correspondence. Customers can also make

comments or diary notes.

Most importantly, the system protects the privacy of all involved.


eDA is a dynamic, multi-functional information tool that greatly increases productivity

and efficiency for customers and council staff alike.

On the customer side, eDA means they no longer have to visit council offices to lodge

applications or check on the progress of an application, but can log in at any time.

This not only saves time but provides the added convenience of allowing customers

to lodge an application at a time that suits them. And once they have lodged their

application online, customers can log in and follow the progress of the application in real

time. By allowing customers to make their own comments or diary notes, eDA allows

people to be part of the assessment process, which is very important to many people.

From the council’s perspective, eDA allows for faster response time, cuts down on

time spent in receiving and returning phone calls, and gives planners more time to

actually assess applications. The automated initial screening further reduces internal

workloads, and integrated workflows reduce the amount of duplication that goes on as

applications move between internal work groups. The outcome is increased customer

service and efficiency.

The online application platform becomes a collaborative working environment for

the whole assessment and planning team, allowing council and community to work

together online.

Future directions and lessons learnt

Early in 2006, council gave a presentation about the eDA to the previous New South

Wales (NSW) planning minister, the Hon. Craig Knowles. Mr Knowles was enthusiastic

about the potential for driving planning reform across the state and pledged to closely

review the system to see how it could assist with the department’s planning reform



e-Award for Excellence in e-Government 2006

Thanks to the Australian Government, Internetrix, as part of a consortium made up

of Shellharbour City Council and Strathfield Council, has received a share of the

$40 million Regulation Reduction Incentive Fund to further enhance eDA.

The additional funding will be used to convert any application-based document

processes into e-format. The initiative will allow any small business professional

(surveyor, accountant, engineer, developer) to apply for respective applications online,

reducing red tape and accumulated wasted time in council queues. The project is being

finalised and is expected to be launched in February 2007.

Fourteen new features, including other business certificates and requests, online selfauditing

of waste management and online submission of annual Fire Safety Schedules,

will soon be available. The ultimate goal is a ‘cradle to grave’ process whereby all

applications can be submitted, tracked, approved, inspected and finalised electronically.

The ability for customers to communicate with council from the construction site is the

blueprint for the future.

T h r e e F I N A L I S T S 2 0 0 6 e - A W A R D

Shellharbour City Council’s eDA system has been robustly tested and peer-reviewed by

other councils to a point where council is convinced of its applicability across the state

as an off-the-shelf efficiency driver. Other councils throughout NSW have expressed an

interest in purchasing the breakthrough software to implement in their respective local

government areas.

Council has already received praise for the program, receiving a Silver merit award at

the recent Local Government Management Excellence Awards. eDA has also generated

praise from leading educational institutions, with the University of New England recently

incorporating the program into its syllabus, saying that it is the most impressive and

cutting-edge technology ever seen in the planning field.

Project name: Electronic Development Application

Project URL: http://www.shellharbour.nsw.gov.au

Date of project: July 2005

Agency: Shellharbour City Council

Contact: Mr Grant Meredith

e-Award for Excellence in e-Government 2006


T h r e e F I N A L I S T S 2 0 0 6 e - A W A R D

Wheat Export Authority

Australian Government

Export Consent System


Australian wheat exporters have voted unanimously in favour of a new online Export

Consent System, with a massive 65 per cent take-up rate of the new system within the

first month.

The new system was released by the Wheat Export Authority in October 2005 and, for the

first time, allows wheat exporters to submit export consent applications electronically.

They can also view the status of their application, or change their exporter company

details or exporter profile.


The system has a Windows-based core component and a web-based component.

The Windows component is used by the Wheat Export Authority team that manages

application processing and export consent compliance. The web-based system provides

exporters with online access to export consent information, allowing them to submit

and view consent applications.

Exporters submit applications online using electronic templates. The system

automatically validates data provided in applications as the data is entered. It also

contains built-in decision support to help assess applications, thus simplifying the

processing of applications.

Another valuable feature of the system is that it incorporates an integrated compliance

management tool. This tool automatically flags non-compliant shipments to ensure that

exporters do not breach their consent arrangements.

The use of open standard technologies means that the Wheat Export Authority can easily

transfer data to and from various external data sources and organisations. To further

enhance data sharing with external providers, the online web application ensures

accessibility for different browsers.

The system uses secure connections with exporters and other external providers.


Although the Export Consent System was introduced only in October 2005, both wheat

exporters and the Wheat Export Authority are already reaping the benefits of the

streamlined management and processing of export consent applications.


e-Award for Excellence in e-Government 2006

The new system significantly reduces manual and repetitive tasks for Wheat Export

Authority staff and exporters, making business processes more efficient for all concerned.

For exporters, being able to use online templates significantly reduces the time and

effort required to lodge applications. Built-in validation and decision support processes

help assess applications to ensure they meet the Wheat Export Authority’s minimum

requirements for processing, saving staff time. In simplifying the processing of

applications and providing better operational workflow efficiencies, the new system

improves service delivery to exporters.

Through a series of assessment screens, the system provides better decision support,

making decisions about export consent applications more transparent. Together with

improved efficiency, this means that exporters can have more confidence in the overall

application approval process.

T h r e e F I N A L I S T S 2 0 0 6 e - A W A R D

Another outcome of the new system is enhanced communication and consultation

with exporters, as the new system provides secure online access to reliable, timely and

accurate export consent information relevant to each exporter.

The Export Consent System has greatly improved the Wheat Export Authority’s ability to

monitor export compliance to ensure exporters do not breach their consent conditions.

This is achieved by the integrated compliance management tool, which uses information

received from the Australian Customs Service to automatically flag non-compliant

shipments. This greatly simplifies the process of monitoring compliance and saves

significant staff time as Customs data is automatically compiled to generate export

compliance reports. And the new system clearly shows compliance breaches against

criteria specified by the Wheat Export Authority Compliance Policy document.

The new system has improved the way the Wheat Export Authority collects information

from external providers and shares data with them. The use of modern open standard

technologies allows the authority to provide the web services to other government

agencies or third parties.

Left to right: Akemi Pham-Vu,

Lauchlan Wei-Wang and

Natalie Currey (Manager),

Wheat Export Authority, working

on the development of the

Export Consent System.

Image courtesy of the

Wheat Export Authority.

e-Award for Excellence in e-Government 2006


T h r e e F I N A L I S T S 2 0 0 6 e - A W A R D

Future directions and lessons learnt

In implementing the Export Consent System, the Wheat Export Authority made sure

that it communicated clearly with exporters and other stakeholders. In particular,

the authority ensured that it notified them about impending changes and provided

instructions and assistance to exporters using the online system. It also surveyed

exporters to understand their levels of satisfaction, and received critical feedback.

Implementing some of the suggested changes in subsequent database updates has

ensured further efficiencies and capabilities.

Exporters have cited the Wheat Export Authority staff’s excellent communication, and

their availability and professionalism in implementing the new system, as core strengths

in their relationship with the authority. Accordingly, the authority will replicate this model

of stakeholder liaison in any future development, particularly as it monitors and assesses

the new system.

Project name: Export Consent System

Project URL: http://exporters.wea.gov.au

Date of project: October 2005

Agency: Wheat Export Authority

Contact: Ms Robyn Kemp


e-Award for Excellence in e-Government 2006

The awards process

Nomination criteria

The primary focus for the e-Award is the promotion of excellence in the use of ICT and

takes into account the following criteria.

Criterion 1–Transformation of services to citizens, government or business

How the project demonstrates that it has significantly improved services to the

community and/or citizens, facilitated business or improved government capabilities.

F o u r T H E A W A R D S P R O C E S S

The assessment should be made on the basis of the extent to which the project:

• meets the objectives of the agency while improving service delivery;

• demonstrates benefits to clients/end users; and

• demonstrates reformed and improved government processes and connected service


Criterion 2–Innovative use of ICT in the delivery of government services

How the project demonstrates that it has applied technology innovatively to create new

or different services and has become a leader in its field.

The assessment should be made on the basis of the extent to which the project:

innovatively uses information technology to improve services;

• demonstrates value-for-money use of ICT;

• demonstrates innovation or best practice through reuse of systems, open standards,

shared systems, environmental achievements, interoperability, security, data

protection, or scalability; and

• reflects a commitment to sharing the technology.

How the awards were judged

Members of the judging panel individually examined all nominations according to

the selection criteria. The panel then met to discuss the results of the individual

assessments. Members of the panel refrained from judging nominations from their

own jurisdictions.

Scores from the panel were compiled by the Australian Government Information

Management Office (AGIMO), and the 11 highest scored projects constituted the finalists.

The nomination with the highest overall score received the e-Award. The nominations

with the second and third highest scores received highly commended awards.

e-Award for Excellence in e-Government 2006


F o u r T H E A W A R D S P R O C E S S

Judging panel

The judging panel was appointed by AGIMO and consisted of the following people from

government and the ICT industry:

Ms Ann Steward, Chairperson

Australian Government Chief Information Officer

Ms Jane Treadwell

Victorian Government Chief Information Officer

Mr Michael Vanderheide

General Manager, InTACT, ACT Government

Mr Grantly Mailes

South Australian Government Chief Information Officer

Mr Kumar Parakala

Global Chief Operation Officer, KPMG Risk Advisory Services Pty Ltd

Mr Bruce McCabe

Managing Director, S2 Intelligence Pty Ltd


e-Award for Excellence in e-Government 2006

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