How your online public services can perform under stress – Red Hat

APACA government launches a new portal for people to get their social security benefits, but it’s not able to cope with the sheer number of people trying access it at the same time, and crashes. What can governments do to prevent such disappointment with public services? Red Hat explains. Cloud technologies can give governments the flexibility to keep up with the rising expectations citizens have of them, believes Bryan Che, General Manager, Cloud Product Strategy for Red Hat. “If I become wildly successful because a lot of users coming in, I can scale up to meet my demand,” he said.—red-hat

Open dataset of the week: Hong Kong traffic data

Hong KongSome open datasets are great because they provide a new level of access to government. Others are worthy simply because of the richness and utility of the data. This week’s open dataset of the week comes from Hong Kong, which has released data that doesn’t make the government more transparent, but does greatly assist citizens. Hong Kong publishes a dataset showing traffic speed across the city.

Which country has the most open government in Asia Pacific?

apac 2New Zealand has the most transparent government in Asia Pacific, according to a new report that studied global access to public sector data. The World Wide Web Foundation has ranked countries according to three criteria: the existence of key datasets; whether these datasets are published; and the impact that open data has had on a country. The United Kingdom was top, while New Zealand scored best in the region – and fourth overall.

New Zealand introduces 2015 Occupation Outlook mobile app

A newly released mobile app by the New Zealand government is expected to enable students compare job prospects and incomes of 50 different careers and help them make good study choices. The 2015 Occupation Outlook app was launched with third annual Occupation Outlook report that pulls together the latest information from employers, industries, the education sector and the labour market.

App review: Malaysia weather alerts

Malaysia’s weather agency launched its first mobile app early this year. FutureGov has reviewed the app and spoke with the team on their new service. The myCuaca app has a simple user interface with familiar icons on the homepage. It shows the weather at your current location and gives a forecast for the coming week. It also has a weather map with forecasts of all Malaysian cities.

India to email out ballot papers

The Indian Government plans to send out ballot papers electronically to citizens living outside the country. Indians will then have to post a hard copy of the ballot paper once they’ve filled it. The Supreme Court has today issued notices to the Election Commission and central government asking them to prepare for non-resident Indians (NRIs) to be able to vote, according to local media.

Australian state’s forest fire app issuing false alerts

A government app from the state of Victoria, Australia, has been issuing alerts for forest fires that don’t exist. Residents of Redesdale town received warnings last week from the FireReady app that there was a fire out-of-control 3.5km away, when there was no fire within 20km. The app is also displaying fire warnings for six hours by default, meaning that the app may issue warnings even if the fire has been put out. Craig Lapsley, Commissioner, Emergency Management Victoria (EMV) admitted that people should intervene in the automated system if the alert needs to be pulled down earlier.

The Philippines publishes oil and gas contracts

The Philippines has published government contracts in the mining, oil and gas industries on its open data portal, These industries account for US$1.2 billion (PHP 52 billion) of government revenue, the Open Data Taskforce said. The government is committed to meeting international standards of transparency in revenue from extractive industries, it added.

Open Dataset of the Week: Melbourne Parking Sensor Data

For our previous open datasets of the week, FutureGov has selected data released on national government portals. But we don’t want to ignore the wealth of data available from state and city governments. This week’s open dataset comes from Melbourne in Australia. The city has released data from its parking sensors across the central business district dating back to 2009. It is comprehensive, accurate and enormously useful.

Which are the best government websites in the world?

How do you build a good government website? What are the tools and techniques that officials can use to quickly, cheaply create a good platform? FutureGov has spoken to the officials behind the best government websites in the world to find out more. In this new eBook, FutureGov has listed the best 8 e-government websites in the world. Find out if yours is listed.

Singapore encourages use of private sector datasets

Singapore’s Infocomm Development Authority launched a data-sharing challenge to encourage the use of private sector datasets. The Data Discovery Challenge, launched last week, aims to promote the combination of private and public datasets to develop products and services that can benefit businesses and the public. The challenge will use Singapore’s new platform, the Federated Dataset Registry (FDSR), to share public and private sector datasets.

How New Zealand’s new e-government portal listens to citizen feedback

New Zealand’s new e-government web site – – is focused on meeting user needs, the government has said. FutureGov spoke with the Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) to find out how the agency has used user feedback in the new web site. Users have told the government that they don’t want something flashy and with a lot of images, but a service that gets the job done, said Nadia Webster, Principal Adviser, Digital Engagement at DIA.

Government’s crowdsourcing portal MyGuv to be revealed in a new avatar soon

NEW DELHI: The government’s idea crowdsourcing platform is ready to roll out an update in the next month or so, with the new version expanding scope of activities, along with upgrade of technology tools being used to analyse data.  Version 2.0 of will have opinion polls related to policy issues, detailed surveys to supplement field data collection, and collaborative writing for white papers across different ministries and government departments, Gaurav Dwivedi, MyGov chief executive officer told ET.

Australia and New Zealand lead on data publication

Australia and New Zealand publish the most open government datasets in the region, according to the Global Open Data Index published by the Open Knowledge Foundation (OKF) this week. Both Australia and New Zealand rank fifth out of 97 countries in the index, which judges availability and accessibility of 10 key government datasets based on whether they are available to the public for free on the internet. The United Kingdom has come out on top with all the 10 datasets published in open formats.

India launches app to government and private services into one platform

Karnataka State, India this week launched Mobile One, a new app which pools together over 4000 private and government services for its citizens. Available on Android and iOS platforms, the app allows the public to access to government-to-citizen services and business-to-consumer services.Services include payment platforms for utilities, phone bills and taxes, and access to healthcare directories and transport services.

Indonesian students to use enterprise-grade productivity tools for e-learning

An Indonesian university has improved its campus’ e-learning portal by integrating a suite of cloud-based enterprise-grade productivity and communication services from Microsoft. The Universitas Gadjah Mada (UGM), one of Indonesia’s largest universities with 60,000 students, has chosen to adopt Office 365 for Education because it provides students with access to productivity tools that are commonly used in the workplace.

Indian city uses GIS to track illegal water and sewage usage

Ludhiana city in Punjab, India is using geographic information systems (GIS) to identify citizens who are using water and sewage infrastructure illegally. City officials are going through satellite imagery of properties to check which ones have illegal sewage and water connections. Residents have not paid over INR 1.9 billion (US$30.7 million) in water and sewage bills, local media reports claim. The city has a population of 1.6 million.

Victoria to release real-time bus data

Public Transport Victoria is set to release long-awaited real-time arrival APIs for the state’s buses and trams by March 2015, meaning Victorian commuters should soon be able to rely on GPS-based arrival information rather than a static timetable.  The transport authority is planning to hand over the information to developers via a series of ‘hackathon’ events in Melbourne promoting the data release. It has set itself a target of fostering at least three new or “significantly improved” digital products before 31 May.,victoria-to-release-real-time-bus-data.aspx

South Australian IT projects run $90m over budget

South Australia’s Auditor-General Simon O’Neill has uncovered $90 million worth of cost overruns across the state government’s four worst-performing IT projects, with the situation projected to get worse before it gets better. O’Neill has released the findings of his review into SA Health’s Oracle Corporate System (OCS) and Electronic Patient Administration System (EPAS) rollout; Treasury’s Revenue SA Information Systems to Enable Compliance (RISTEC) rollout; and the Department of Communities and Social Inclusion’s (DCSI) Concession and Seniors Information System (CASIS) development.,south-australian-it-projects-run-90m-over-budget.aspx

No more waste to cut, say Australian CIOs and CFOs

Eliminating waste is the least effective way to reduce costs in Australian public service agencies, according to an exclusive survey of chief information officers (CIOs) and chief financial officers (CFOs). The survey of attendees to the FutureGov Summit, Canberra, held earlier this month asked 110 senior IT and finance officials what is “the most effective way to reduce costs” in their agency.