The need to deliver faster, better, smarter and more efficient public services is pushing every level of the Australian government to look for new solutions to help create digital cities for the future.
Leading by example, the ACT Government is engaging some of the territory’s brightest minds to help develop innovative solutions to its public service delivery challenges through the Digital Canberra Challenge.
Managed by NICTA, the program asks ACT Government employees and the innovation community to identify opportunities to improve government services using digital means such as apps or websites.
Some recent challenges include delivering better access to hospital information by creating an online system to access information about hospital services, facilities and patients. Another example is creating a streamlined ID system using a smartcard-style chip to provide citizens with a single access point for all government services such as bus and library services including the ability to be expanded to other services at a national level.
Tony Henshaw, Chair of the Program Board for the Digital Canberra Challenge explains that this sort of collaborative model has benefits for both the government and community alike. According to Tony, the government is able to solve problems at a relatively low cost. In addition, innovators whose solutions are judged to be the best are financially rewarded and have the opportunity to develop their ideas into ‘proof-of-concept’ prototypes and, potentially, win new government clients if selected to implement their solution.
The Digital Canberra Challenge is not only successful in engaging government staff and citizens to transform public service delivery in the nation’s capital, it uses a model that is becoming popular internationally in countries like Denmark, Great Britain and other parts of Europe. A model that could potentially be emulated in other cities in Australia.
Tony Henshaw, Chair of the Program Board for Digital Canberra Challenge will provide deeper insights into ‘Developing a Digital Engagement Strategy for The ACT’ at GovInnovate from 25-27 November, National Convention Centre, Canberra. For more information or to register visit http://www.cebit.com.au/govinnovate