Australia sets central standards for all digital services

AustraliaAustralia’s new e-government unit, the Digital Transformation Office, has set out criteria that digital services right across government must meet before they are launched. The criteria, which were adapted from the UK Government’s Digital by Default standards, will apply to all new services and existing ones with more than 50,000 transactions per year. The DTO’s first requirement is that agencies research and understand user needs when they are designing services.

Jakarta introduces online system to track citizens’ ideas

IndonesiaJakarta is now tracking and publishing its budget meetings with citizens for the first time. “Starting this year, suggestions from Musrenbang meetings will be uploaded on the internet so residents can see whether the suggestions conveyed in meetings are delivered”, Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama said. Prior to this, suggestions from these meetings were not recorded electronically and were not publicly available.

31 open data champions to advise Malaysian agencies

MalaysiaMalaysia has announced two moves to boost its use of open data: the selection of 31 civil servants to advise ministries and agencies to implement open data projects, and a partnership with UK non-profit Open Data Institute. The “national open data champions” will identify high impact government projects and data required to develop solutions, and ensure the quality of data so it can be shared and used, the Malaysian Development Corporation and Malaysian Administrative Modernisation and Management Planning Unit announced.

Ideas we love: Government as an API, from AU

AustraliaGovernment should make all of its content and services digitally reusable by other organisations, Pia Waugh, the Director of 2.0 in the Australian Government, has said. Speaking at the Navigating the Internet of Things conference, Waugh – who was giving a personal opinion – said “imagine if all government information and services were usefully discoverable”.

Melbourne announces dataset release on Reddit

AustraliaThe Premier of Victoria, Australia, yesterday announced the publication of a new dataset on Reddit rather than through the press. Daniel Andrews MP announced the release of the state government’s public transport timetables as an API. The release of the data allows developers to plot the timetable for all trains, buses and trams onto a map. The data is not real time, but will be updated on a weekly basis to reflect timetable changes.

Government speeds up IT buying to push Digital India on the forefront

IndiaMUMBAI | NEW DELHI: All employment exchanges in India are expected to get linked by the end of April in line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s promise of improving job prospects for young people, just over five months after the Department of Employment and Training put out a tender for the purpose. The tender was fast-tracked, the bid awarded in three weeks and the system is expected to go live much faster than could have been imagined in the past, when just issuing the request for proposal or RFP and then selecting a winning bid could take months.

Australian state crime agency releases first data

AustraliaThe Crime Statistics Agency in Victoria, Australia has released its first datasets since it began operations in January. The data shows a 4.3 per cent rise in offences in the state last year from 2013, and 11.5 per cent increase in motor vehicle thefts. Women below the age of 25 were more likely to be victims than men, but men above 45 were more likely to be harmed than women.

Why Singapore’s Yale-NUS College is using Red Hat technology

SingaporeThe new Yale-NUS College in Singapore wants students to have a liberal arts experience that stands out in the region. The IT team running the college’s systems need to find novel ways to enable new digital solutions. Here’s why the colleges is working with open source provider Red Hat to find the solutions. Yale-NUS wants to minimise wastage and increase flexibility, and run as a “lean institution”, Darwin Gosal, Senior Manager for IT Infrastructure and Services, told FutureGov.

Hong Kong’s open data portal revamped

Hong KongHong Kong has revamped its open data portal, changing its name from Data.One to Data.Gov.HK. The data catalogue is now easier to search with new filters for government departments, data categories and formats. Users can also chart and map data on the web site itself for a preliminary analysis of the datasets before downloading them. The web site features a new look, with large, minimalist icons of data categories on the home page.

Australia joins up state and federal open government initiatives

AustraliaThe Australian federal government is joining up with state governments to ensure that public datasets are available on the national portal. This month, it announced that South Australian open data will be available on the national portal, while the state portal will also provide access to national datasets. “Users of and will be able to find data resources from either portal using a single search. Now, users of the portals will have over 5,700 datasets and their fingertips,” blogged Allan Barger of the team.

Use social media to explain new government policies, says Information Department DG

MalaysiaMalaysia has urged its civil servants to use social media to help people understand government policies, especially new ones. “It is important to use all available communication, especially Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, to create better understanding of the government transformation agenda, especially the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax in April,” said Datuk Ibrahim Abdul Rahman, Director General, Department of Information.

How this Australian university turned IT management around with Red Hat

AustraliaThe University of Technology, Sydney (UTS) in Australia used Red Hat’s cloud-based app development and hosting platform OpenShift, resulting in shorter time taken to deploy web applications and less day-to-day management for the university’s IT team. The platform improved students’ experience by shortening the time taken to develop applications so they could focus on their course content, instead of dealing with IT complexities.

Open dataset of the week: Thailand ICT use

ThailandThailand is getting ready for a new digital economy, looking to provide more citizens with internet access and online services. This week FutureGov is featuring open data from, the country’s open data portal, showing ICT use by Thai households and how many people are using the internet.

Australia to set method for valuing open datasets

AustraliaThe Australian Government will launch a “comprehensive” survey to assess which datasets are most valuable to businesses and researchers, Malcolm Turnbull, Australian Communications Minister has announced this week. In partnership with New York University’s GovLab, the federal government will look at organisations that use public datasets “to generate new business, develop new products and services or create social value,” he said.

Web should be open for all: Government, from IN

IndiaNEW DELHI: Terming India as an important player in internet governance, telecom minister Ravi Shankar Prasad today said the future architecture of the web should not be a prerogative of a few and should be open to all.  “India is an important player on international stage of internet governance. I am happy that USA has decided that the entire oversight mechanism must end by September 2015 or year end,” Prasad said during an Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers event here.

Telstra offers customers access to metadata for $25

AustraliaTelstra will allow its customers to access the metadata the telco stores on them for a fee ranging upwards from $25. Telstra’s announcement follows a recommendation made last Friday by the parliamentary committee tasked with investigating the Government’s data retention scheme. In the committee’s final report on the data retention bill last week, it said individuals should be able to access their own metadata retained under the scheme.,telstra-offers-customers-access-to-metadata-for-25.aspx

Singapore releases 5000 new economy, population datasets

SingaporeSingapore’s Statistics department has released 5000 new datasets on the government’s open data portal this week. This is “in line with the government’s intention to make more data available to the public as we build a Smart Nation”, the Department said in a statement. The new datasets cover 123 topics across two broad themes – population and economy.

Western Australia releases open data policy

AustraliaWestern Australia has released a draft of its open data policy, urging agencies to be “open by default”. The government should prioritise releasing datasets that are already available in public, in demand or are have high-value for citizens, says the policy which will be implemented by geospatial agency Landgate. The government doesn’t want agencies to be discouraged by a need to release perfect datasets.

Indian city building detailed maps for public use

IndiaBangalore city in India is developing a geographic information system (GIS) with 150 layers of information on transport, health, safety and utilities. The project, known as Bangalore Spatial Info Centre, was initiated by a committee set up to recommend changes to Bangalore’s administrative structure. The restructure and operation of the city have to be driven by data, said V Ravichandar, former Commissioner of the Bangalore Municipal Corporation and a member of the committee.

Open dataset of the week: Malaysia tourist arrivals

MalaysiaMalaysia’s ‘Truly Asia’ campaign is well known across the region, and this year the country expects over 29 million people to visit the country. FutureGov has taken a look at the open data on tourist arrivals to Malaysia. The data from the Immigration Department and Tourism Malaysia has important economic implications for the government as well as owners of businesses which thrive on tourism.