news The Federal Government’s Digital Transformation Office has broadened its consultation process around the prototype of its centralised GOV.AU platform, as concerns continue to circulate within the public sector that the model has substantial problems.
A public alpha of the Digital Transformation Office’s GOV.AU project was unveiled several weeks ago with substantial pomp and fanfare by Assistant Minister to the Prime Minister for Digital Transformation, Angus Taylor, in company with DTO chief Paul Shetler.
The model is a replica of the similar GOV.UK platform already implemented in the UK, and is slated to eventually see up to 1,500 Federal Government websites shut down and integrated into the one centralised platform.
However, as Delimiter reported last week, the GOV.AU model has seen substantial criticism from within the Federal Government, with many public servants seeing it as substantially inferior to the GovCMS model it is replacing, as well as technically limited. It is believed that the current GOV.AU model will not allow the full functionality of some departmental and agencies websites to be migrated across.
In response to the public airing of these concerns, the DTO has taken several measures over the past several days in order to address the issues.
Firstly, last week acting head of GOV.AU, Radi Kovacevic, published a blog post noting that the DTO was actively working on a beta version of the platform, scheduled to be launched in August.
“We plan to work with a small group of departments over the next few months. Other departments and agencies will join us from August this year,” he wrote.
Secondly, the DTO said that it had started reviewing what it said was “valuable” feedback from end users within the Federal public sector, and would also kickstart a further round of consultation.
“Iterating based on feedback is a big part of our process and we’ve received some constructive feedback on the GOV.AU Alpha protoype which we are taking on board as we move into Beta,” wrote Kovacevic.
The DTO will continue to share its “findings and preferred platform” as it moves forward, as well as preparing a design guide for GOV.AU that will be made available to all government departments.
In a second blog post yesterday, Kovacevic noted that the DTO would hold a live question and answer session and webcast tomorrow to discuss issues with interested stakeholders.
“We recognise that GOV.AU will be a substantial change to the way government information and services are currently structured. We welcome engagement and feedback from our stakeholders moving forward,” he wrote.
I applaud the DTO for its rapid response to the criticism being raised regarding the GOV.AU alpha. Clearly Kovacevic and others have recognised that there is a substantial issue here that needs to be addressed. The DTO is opening the floodgates for communication, and I think this is a tremendously positive thing.
Image credit: Office of Malcolm Turnbull