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                    [post_content] => [caption id="attachment_30819" align="aligncenter" width="650"] Successful digital leaders encourage staff to think about how they can experiment, says Swanepoel.[/caption]

From digital leadership to cloud cover, there's a lot that government can learn from the digital practices of other sectors, writes Lourens Swanepoel.

Government faces many of the same challenges as businesses when it comes to navigating the opportunities and aches of digital transformation.

Emerging technology is rapidly changing the world in which we work. Last year there were reports of a NASA robonaut being trialled as part of the workforce by Woodside Energy to take on mundane and even high-risk tasks, to increase safety and free up workers for more innovative and meaningful work.

Most recently, Westpac announced it was trialling robotic process automation with some back-office tasks, while its customers deal with AI-enabled chatbots in its contact centres.

[caption id="attachment_30822" align="alignright" width="150"] Lourens Swanepoel[/caption]

Recent research by Avanade shows more than two-thirds of organisations plan to implement some form of intelligent automation within three years, while most leaders believe they must deploy intelligent automation to be leaders in their field. Those that don’t follow suit risk being left behind.

These new technologies are rapidly opening possibilities across sectors – including government – and leaders should consider the impact on their organisation and how to best lead their workforce.

Digital inside

We’ve seen more organisations automating workplace functions to make way for more efficient, productive and innovative workplaces. Our research found that some of the top benefits of intelligent automation include increased productivity (50 per cent), making more workers available for complex tasks and innovation (43 per cent), and reducing costs (43 per cent). For example, we’re currently working with a business to make updates to its human resources system. It has introduced a chatbot that's able to manage and process employees holiday requests; book these in the calendar, deduct time from that employees annual leave and set holiday reminders. This simple change frees members of the HR team to focus on managing more complex needs. When it comes to the digital workplace, we see organisations building their digital future step by step, however it’s not only about the technology you adopt but also the culture you create around it. This is key for both business and government. One of the biggest barriers to digital innovation is peoples’ fear of failure because it often underlies their resistance to change. Our research identified that most leaders believe internal resistance to change is limiting the implementation of intelligent automation. Often it’s about how you incentivise people. That means encouraging staff to think about how they can experiment and make themselves and the organisation faster and stronger, rather than focusing on inflexible performance KPIs and annual reviews. It’s also a question of vision. Road maps and similar tools for considering what's possible now can open minds to new ideas, to a more agile and digital culture, and help develop capability for adaption. This mindset and ability gives people the confidence to embrace risk and experiment with digital innovation.

Cloud cover

According to Gartner, public cloud services revenue will have increased around 17 per cent year-on-year from 2016 to 2017 in Australia, in line with global trends. It isn’t hard to see why organisations are increasingly adopting cloud, given its many benefits. For instance, we recently worked with a major utilities company to use Microsoft Azure cloud services to provide elastic scaling at times of high demand. During the annual billing process many interactions caused a spike on billing systems, CRM and content management. By using cloud, the company could pay for the capacity required at any given time and scale this up or down, enabling it to reduce operational costs while knowing it has a reliable infrastructure when needed. There are other uses of cloud that government may also consider; a popular one is better communication to increase efficiency and productivity. For instance, cloud capabilities like instant messaging can enable user groups to communicate and share intelligence in real time, while Skype can support virtual meetings and significantly reduce the number of face-to-face meetings needed.

Digital leadership

A McKinsey report last year found a gap in digital competence at the board level and suggested that what's required is not technical wizards at the helm, but rather a general understanding of the available technology and how it can be used to change business processes and improve internal and external communication. Our research late last year also found a significant shift in leadership capabilities for a world driven by artificial intelligence and intelligent automation. The research found that more than half of global business leaders believed their understanding of new and emerging technologies, such as intelligent automation, will be more important for leadership than traditional specialisations like sales and marketing. To build skills and expertise, we’re seeing organisations increasingly send their people out into the world to discover new ideas and opportunities in digital from other businesses and industries. This is something that leaders in government may also wish to consider.

Becoming a digital leader

There is certainly no cookie-cutter approach to becoming a digital leader, whether in business or government. But based on our experience, here are some of the most important things to consider no matter the type of organisation:
  • Focusing on the business outcome and vision, not necessarily the technology – what you are trying to achieve, and how technology can then help you get there.
  • Igniting enthusiasm among employees – by creating a digital workplace that encourages employees to innovate and contribute to business effectiveness.
  • Bringing everyone on the journey – employees need to understand the vision to be able to get onboard.
While there is no one a one-size-fits-all approach, it certainly starts with being bold and recognising the need to adapt. Digital transformation will not always be easy, but government can learn from examples in business that the benefits it brings cannot be ignored. Lourens Swanepoel is the market unit lead for digital at Avanade Australia.
Comment below to have your say on this story.
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[post_title] => Vision and skill drive digital transformation [post_excerpt] => From digital leadership to cloud cover, there's a lot that government can learn from the digital practices of other sectors, writes Lourens Swanepoel. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => vision-and-skill-drive-digital-transformation [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-06-22 10:05:06 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-06-22 00:05:06 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=30817 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [1] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 30723 [post_author] => 658 [post_date] => 2018-06-15 10:42:41 [post_date_gmt] => 2018-06-15 00:42:41 [post_content] => [caption id="attachment_30725" align="aligncenter" width="675"] 'Data privacy continues to be a topical issue attracting continued interest from the public and the media.'[/caption] OPINION: With the Federal Government committed to a cloud-first policy, Australians have inalienable rights to know where their data is stored, and who has access to it, writes Rupert Taylor-Price. In the wake of recent revelations regarding social media giant Facebook allowing the harvesting of over 300,000 Australian user profiles by data analytics organisation Cambridge Analytica, questions have arisen about the safety of people’s data. The incident has left both organisations with financial and reputational ramifications with legal action not yet ruled out. As people around the world focus on how the data that was harvested affected the US political landscape, president Donald Trump signed legislation that went into effect over the weekend allowing US law-enforcement agencies to access data that is stored by any US-based tech company. [caption id="attachment_30727" align="alignright" width="139"] Rupert Taylor-Price[/caption] With the Australian Government committed to a cloud-first policy to drive a greater take up of cloud services by Commonwealth agencies, Australians have an inalienable set of rights to know where their data is stored, and who has access to it. As the clarity of who has access to sensitive data across cloud service providers gets murkier, the new Australian cloud first world must protect data as the Australian Government and its associated legislation has done in the past. Technological advances should only be applied in clear knowledge of appropriate privacy, security, and national primacy of authority in all elements of the cloud system. This means that sensitive data about Australian citizens must be stored on an ASD certified cloud that can guarantee information is not accessible by foreign governments and their allies. If steps are not taken to ensure Australian data stays onshore and is only accessible by Australian owned and operated organisations, the risk of irrevocably losing the public’s trust in government is almost certain. Data privacy continues to be a topical issue attracting continued interest from the public and the media, particularly with 93 per cent of Australians concerned about organisations sending their personal information overseas.

Ensuring data is secure 

In order to make the necessary guarantees to the Australian public that their data is secure, the Australian Government must ensure:
  • cloud providers used are solely within the Australian legal jurisdiction
  • the confinement of all data storage is restricted to onshore data centres
  • security protocols and systems are kept in Australia and within ASD requirements
  • Commonwealth primacy in all aspects of operation and access to the cloud system.
Additionally, all individuals administering or accessing the cloud system must be Australian citizens and Australian security cleared. Once Australian data or management moves offshore it is no longer tightly controlled and is subject to the laws of a foreign country or the practices of a foreign corporation. Allowing foreign companies to access and control Australian’s data will not protect the existing rights of Australians to have their privacy and data adequately protected. Cloud computing can be a disruptive technology in a privacy and security sense. Cloud storage can move data from its traditional location within departmental computer systems to outsourced storage. Ministers, secretaries, and senior officials must ensure that this external storage is exclusively subject to Australian laws and jurisdiction. The only way to do this is to guarantee that Australian data is physically stored within Australian borders and not overseas. Aside from the loss of privacy, using foreign companies to store Australian data equates to the loss of Australian jobs and taxes, damaging the Australian economy. Jobs that should belong to Australian workers and taxes that rightfully belong to Australia are irrevocably lost when data is moved offshore. Foreign companies reap the benefits of controlling Australian data. Data sovereignty and privacy can only be assured using Australian data centres and Australian security cleared employees. The personal, sensitive data of Australians must be managed by Australians who have the appropriate level of access, within Australian borders and in accordance with the laws of Australia.
Rupert Taylor-Price is the CEO and founder of Vault Systems.
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[post_title] => Rules for protecting citizens’ personal data [post_excerpt] => OPINION: With the Federal Government committed to a cloud-first policy, Australians have inalienable rights to know where their data is stored, and who has access to it, writes Rupert Taylor-Price. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => rules-for-protecting-citizens-personal-data [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-06-15 12:08:54 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-06-15 02:08:54 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=30723 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [2] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 30554 [post_author] => 658 [post_date] => 2018-06-08 08:32:00 [post_date_gmt] => 2018-06-07 22:32:00 [post_content] => [caption id="attachment_30556" align="aligncenter" width="635"] PPPs have the best chance of success when risk is 'properly and robustly quantified.'[/caption] As Australian governments and private enterprise partners on a multi-billion dollar infrastructure pipeline, it’s incumbent we reduce the likelihood of cost overruns, writes Paul Sullivan. Australia is going through a major construction boom, undertaking projects across every state and territory to accommodate our growing population and futureproof our cities. Melbourne and Sydney metros, the Westgate Tunnel, the Brisbane Cross River Rail, the Roe 8 project in Western Australia, school precinct developments across the eastern seaboard - the list is extensive. [caption id="attachment_30568" align="alignright" width="153"] Paul Sullivan[/caption] Such large scale, transformative projects are often delivered through public-private partnerships (PPPs), which are considered a preferred procurement method for high value, high risk (HVHR) projects because of the distribution of risk across parties. But are we quantifying risk as we should? And what are the consequences for the funding and delivery of major projects? There are cases where PPPs have gone wrong and government can be left picking the pieces at the taxpayer’s expense, particularly where running costs are involved. A major principle of the PPP risk-sharing is that contingency funds can be reduced, and if an unknown cost does eventuate, the project proponents pay only the value of that cost.  This is in contrast to conventional procurement methods - such as competitive tender, construction management and shared saving contracts - where a head contractor carries most of the risk and requires a larger contingency fund. On a level playing field, the end turnout cost of a project delivered via a partnership agreement should be less than if delivered through conventional procurement methods. PPPs, like all projects, have the best chance of success when risk is properly and robustly quantified and when ownership is taken on by the party best equipped to manage the risk. However, the question of risk is often the source of cost blow-outs, project delays and public perceptions of loss of taxpayer money going to private contractors. How can this be mitigated?

Quantify all risks

Departments of treasury and finance factor in known knowns - risks that can be quantified in terms of their likelihood and potential consequence. But they only quantify, to some extent, the known unknowns, and they do not quantify at all the unknown unknowns. A known unknown risk could be adverse ground conditions, where the potential hazard can be identified, but there is no basis upon which to estimate the likelihood of the event occurring or the impact on the costs of the project if it did. Further investigation can change a known unknown to a known known, and then enable us to quantify the risk. An unknown unknown risk could be unexpected weather patterns or finding archaeological relics when excavating a site; these are risks that cannot be reasonably identified or costed.  The private sector should not be saddled by these risks, and it’s similarly unpalatable for government to be so. This is where the perception that PPPs “always blow their budgets” comes from.   For unknown unknowns, an evaluation of likelihood and consequence should be attempted, utilising benchmarking from similar works on previous projects, and the knowledge of highly experienced people. In the event of the contingent funds not being used, the reserve is retained by the financier or project proponents and does not convert to profit.  If all project proponents sought to quantify risk more fully, then this could be shared and costed more appropriately across parties in HVHR projects. A lenders technical advisory role consultant can provide an “additional set of eyes” to give confidence in the project budget.  

Allocate risk to most appropriate

Best practice risk management allocates risks to the party best able to manage it, and therefore at the least cost to the project.  But in practice, the risk often gets pushed down to the contractor and sub-contractors, who in turn include a higher contingency sum in their contracts. One reason why small contractors go out of business so often is that they’re not equipped to understand or deal with the risk when things turn pear shaped. Project proponents must ensure they are engaging suitably qualified contractors, with the wherewithal to handle the works being let, and ensure that the various risks are “owned” by the party most equipped to deal with that risk.

Thorough analysis

Too many project proponents don’t have a full enough understanding of probabilistic risk analysis and its application. While a complex process, it is worth sourcing appropriate experts to bring a fuller understanding of the risks and opportunities, throughout the life of the project. Since PPPs are a partnership between government and private enterprise, it’s up to project proponents to engage qualified specialists to facilitate risk and opportunity workshops. Professional risk workshops are the best way to counter inherent optimism bias which, if left unchecked, can lead to an overestimation of benefits. In large infrastructure projects, this can manifest as overly optimistic cost estimating, under-estimated risk consideration and a higher contingency sum. The $554 million Sydney Cross Harbour Tunnel provides an interesting example where revenue projections exceeded actual collections. This was most likely the result of optimism bias, where traffic engineers anticipated higher traffic levels, combined with government’s re-opening of certain road closures to appease public demand and causing "leakage" of traffic numbers. The failure was more about toll revenue being lower than anticipated, rather than a blow out in construction cost, but the result was the same. If all HVHR project proponents undertook probabilistic risk analysis, participated in Rrisk workshops to a greater degree, and carried the process through to project completion, the risk of large overruns would be diminished. The majority of PPPs have had good outcomes, such as the Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre, Melbourne City Link, AAMI Stadium and Ravenhall Prison. In these instances, it’s likely that the private proponents were some of the most experienced in the country and carried out risk analysis in the best and fullest manner, using suitably experienced and qualified contractors. As Australian governments and private enterprise partner to deliver a multi-billion dollar infrastructure project pipeline, it’s incumbent on all parties to ensure a procurement method that will keep risk pricing, or contingency funding, to a minimum and reduce the likelihood of cost overruns. PPPs are best suited to HVHR projects which are of such a magnitude that the only way to deliver them is with partnership funding. For this model to work effectively, we need to focus on appropriately defining, quantifying, allocating and costing risk.
Paul Sullivan is state director at WT Partnership, a project and cost management advisory.
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[post_title] => Are we getting risk wrong in public-private partnerships? [post_excerpt] => As Australian governments and private enterprise partners on a multi-billion dollar infrastructure pipeline, it’s incumbent we reduce the likelihood of cost overruns, writes Paul Sullivan. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => are-we-getting-risk-wrong-in-public-private-partnerships [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-06-08 09:12:56 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-06-07 23:12:56 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=30554 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 3 [filter] => raw ) [3] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 30559 [post_author] => 658 [post_date] => 2018-06-05 09:35:00 [post_date_gmt] => 2018-06-04 23:35:00 [post_content] => [caption id="attachment_30564" align="aligncenter" width="590"] The sustainable procurement standard covers social, economic and environmental factors.[/caption] A year since the publication of a new global sustainable procurement standard, Jonathan Dutton looks at the impact on procurement and contract management in government and the corporate sector.
  • This is the first in a new monthly column for Government News, written by procurement specialist Jonathan Dutton, examining key issues in procurement at all levels of government in Australia.
While there’s been no formal research yet on the take-up in Australia of the new international standard for sustainable procurement, the ISO 20 400, anecdotal evidence suggests procurement professionals are increasingly aware of it. [caption id="attachment_30560" align="alignright" width="171"] Jonathan Dutton[/caption] Various procurement and contracting bodies in Australia have helped spread the word. Yet at two recent procurement conferences a straw-poll yielded miserable results. When audiences of more than 100 procurement professionals at each were asked if they had adopted the new standard in whole or in part, or even felt that it had directly influenced their organisation’s sustainable procurement policy, fewer than 10 per cent raised their hands. On the flipside, a 10 per cent take-up of a guidance document within a year might not yet be a cause for alarm. The clearest early benefit of ISO 20 400 might be the publicity value in persuading organisations that to do nothing in future is not an option.

Broad view of sustainability

The development of ISO 20 400 sought to collate a wide range of disparate examples of socially responsible and sustainable procurement activity into a single non-mandatory guidance document. The standard takes a wider scope for sustainable procurement beyond sustainability in its narrowest definition of environmentalism. In fact, the term sustainability now envelops social (good), economic (development) and environmental (improvement) factors.   This approach was a natural result of garnering input from 52 countries and 1,000 people who contributed over a two-year period. Australia was a key part of the process and the eclectic Sydney committee, which included NSW Government, consultants, practitioners, companies, not-for-profit organisations and professional bodies had a significant input. Subsequently, those Sydney members have championed the new standard and set up a website as a free reference. They seem to have made a difference within their spheres of influence. Critics of the new standard complain it is overlong, overreaching, overly detailed and overambitious. Champions retort it needs to cover the breadth of both practice and theory to remain relevant in future and, crucially, offer something of the how as well as the why of socially responsible and sustainable procurement. Advocates also say it must be consistent with other standards and initiatives around the world, even with the intent of potential future laws; Australia is expected to enact its own Modern Slavery Act and many expect procurement to play a lead role in this area.

Prior good practice

There are many examples of good practice in sustainable and socially responsible procurement that existed well before the new standard was formed. The Victorian Level Crossing Removal Authority’s social procurement policy is held up as an example that delivers a wide range of benefits. Key projects at Australia Post and Rio Tinto that started as supply side corporate social responsibility initiatives have subsequently delivered material business benefits. In the case of Australia Post it’s been recyclable uniforms with predestined outlets, while for Rio Tinto it was the boring of water wells in Mauritanian villages to improve health of local support workers. [caption id="attachment_30566" align="alignright" width="235"] Many organisations have adopted a form of social procurement.[/caption] Many organisations have now adopted some form of social procurement policy. Most were largely in train before the new standard was published, although drafts were widely available in the two years previous. Corporate companies have adopted supply side corporate social responsibility policies because of conviction, shareholder and staff pressure, brand positioning theory, customer preference or post-crisis after a major supply chain shock. However, how well these new policies have gained traction is not always clear. Similarly, government jurisdictions and agencies usually have sustainability policies, often influenced by government policy at federal or state level. The NSW Government is finalising its own sustainable procurement policy framework, although it is unclear how closely this might or might not be aligned to ISO 20 400. The Commonwealth procurement rules apply to federal government buyers. But they are often reflected in other jurisdictions such as state governments, public agencies and even local councils. And these are more influential in the private sector than given credit for. These were implemented in July 2015, well before the new standard was launched, although revisions to Commonwealth’s rules have been subsequently implemented – as recently as January. The Department of Finance, which administers the Commonwealth’s procurement rules, points out they are broadly consistent with the principles behind ISO 20 400 and that they “allow for the consideration of a range of social and sustainability factors when undertaking a procurement.”

Taking stock

Perhaps naively, some practitioners and analysts felt that ISO 20 400 would be a real catalyst for change, that procurement professionals might use it as a lever to drive broader and deeper sustainability initiatives – even down the length of the supply chain, the holy-grail of sustainable procurement.    Some supply chains have no choice but to clean up; their core business is driven by a vulnerable supply chain, which ironically can make it easier to change. Often it’s sparked by a visible issue or incident – such as child labour becoming evident within a high-tier supplier, or a major producer of smartphones allegedly exploiting workers. It’s not easy mapping 17 tiers down the supply chain from your local 7/11 service station back to the Ivory Coast fields where the coca-beans are picked to make certified chocolate – like Fair Trade did. But not everyone has to take on that sort of commitment or budget to improve the impact of a singular global supply chain.

Bottom-up momentum

Individuals in key procurement roles seem increasingly keen to drive their own initiatives where possible – whether they are directly or indirectly relevant for their organisations. These (sometimes almost random) initiatives fly because they are broadly consistent with stated corporate intent from the top, more than hard policy or practical strategy. And, they are difficult to deny. Indeed, many good sustainable procurement initiatives seem almost coincidental to corporate policy, rather than driven by it. The staff seem to take a lofty mandate from the boss and turn it into action. Ultimately, it appears the top-down intent of both public departments and corporates is often currently driven more by bottom-up individual employee activism than by departmental or corporate leadership. More work to do then, in order to match top-down policy with bottom-up enthusiasm. But it’s still early days; why not start by drafting your own department’s sustainable procurement policy?
Jonathan Dutton, an independent management consultant specialising on procurement, was the founding CEO of CIPS in Australia from 2004 to 2013. 
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[post_title] => Sustainable procurement: bottom-up efforts gain momentum [post_excerpt] => SPECIAL FEATURE: A year since the publication of a new global sustainable procurement standard, Jonathan Dutton looks at the impact on procurement and contract management in government and the corporate sector. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => sustainable-procurement-bottom-up-efforts-gain-momentum [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-06-08 09:13:32 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-06-07 23:13:32 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=30559 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [4] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 30507 [post_author] => 658 [post_date] => 2018-06-01 10:09:24 [post_date_gmt] => 2018-06-01 00:09:24 [post_content] => [caption id="attachment_30509" align="aligncenter" width="593"] Councils in NSW are starting to collaborate on management and accountability issues.[/caption] While the NSW Government legislates for local government to work together in formalised groups, a diverse band of councils has already initiated their own alliances, writes Annalisa Haskell. What a difference a punishing audit or two can make in galvanising a sector.  The need to improve local government performance, and find the means to do so, reached a new intensity in recent months, perhaps most acutely in NSW where the NSW Audit Office report has been tabled in parliament after much discussion. [caption id="attachment_28375" align="alignright" width="141"] Annalisa Haskell[/caption] In addition, as the NSW Government has embedded joint organisations into legislation there is an expectation that councils can and will work much closer together in formalised groups, on behalf of their regions. While the sector digests these latest developments, a diverse band of Australian and New Zealand councils has taken pre-emptive action to initiate their own alignments as strategic groups. The collaborations - in addition to their existing individual approaches to performance improvement - have the potential to bring significant operational change for the benefit of the whole sector.

New era of collaboration

More than 70 councils have embraced a new data window within the Australasian LG Performance Excellence Program as a means to collaborate on local government management and financial accountability. While the performance measurement program has been delivering comparative data and strategic insights over the past five years, the newly introduced grouping feature creates an opportunity for councils to form clusters and work on strategies that strengthen financial, operational and management capability. This methodology could provide a creative model for a new era of cross-city, cross regional collaboration. It will also be helpful for councils to see how they perform together as they address additional cost pressures such as rate capping.

Strategic creativity

Western Australia is leading cross-city metropolitan planning with eight major metropolitan councils now in their working window, made up of City of Cockburn, City of Canning, City of Joondalup, City of Swan, City of Melville, City of Gosnells, City of Rockingham and City of Wanneroo. There are another 13 strategic clusters operating across NSW and New Zealand, with nine of those formed in just the last month. Among them are some standout examples. Almost all of the recently amalgamated or merged NSW councils have formed a unique cluster, made up of: Armidale Regional Council, Cumberland Council, Hilltops Council, Mid-Coast Council, Murrumbidgee Council, Queanbeyan-Palerang Regional Council, Snowy Valleys Council, Georges River Council and Snowy Monaro Regional Council. It’s unlikely that recently amalgamated councils anywhere else in the world have had access to comparative data in one profile for the purpose of learning and performance improvement. Similarly, a new NSW regional cities collaboration consists of Albury City Council, Armidale Regional Council, Coffs Harbour City Council, Griffith City Council, Lismore City Council, Mid-Coast Council, Port Macquarie-Hastings Council, Tamworth Regional Council, Tweed Shire Council and Queanbeyan-Palerang Regional Council.

Plan together using data

There’s no doubt that local government service models need to evolve and it will be essential for all councils to look outside of themselves and plan together using robust data. As a result, a much broader view of the value of local government will be visible as it intersects with key levels of government and other stakeholders.
Annalisa Haskell is CEO of Local Government Professionals, NSW.
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[post_title] => Strength in numbers: councils collaborate on key issues [post_excerpt] => While the NSW Government legislates for local government to work together in formalised groups, a diverse band of councils has already initiated their own alliances, writes Annalisa Haskell. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => strength-in-numbers-councils-collaborate-on-key-issues [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-06-01 10:10:35 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-06-01 00:10:35 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=30507 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [5] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 30479 [post_author] => 658 [post_date] => 2018-05-29 08:15:40 [post_date_gmt] => 2018-05-28 22:15:40 [post_content] => [caption id="attachment_30482" align="aligncenter" width="600"] APIs make digital government work but are suffering an 'identity crisis'. [/caption] No longer simply the tools used by developers for internal systems, APIs can push digital government programs to new levels, writes Dean Lacheca. Application programming interfaces (APIs) are the building blocks of digital transformation – they make digital society and digital government work. They connect people, businesses and things. They enable new digital products and business models for services, and create new business channels. [caption id="attachment_30481" align="alignright" width="117"] Dean Lacheca[/caption] Despite the significant role they play in government, APIs are suffering an identity crisis in the eyes of executives. Overuse of a misunderstood technical reference is undermining the critical and transformational impact they can have on government organisations. Unfortunately, government IT departments tend to revert to treating APIs as a type of technology, rather than a business product. Yet APIs are no longer simply the tools used by developers for internal systems and integration. They’re a strategic government service that can push open and digital government programs to new levels. New revenue, service innovation and optimisation opportunities can be lost if APIs aren’t properly articulated in business terms.

Communicate outcomes, not technology

Many government organisations are largely ignoring APIs, not positioning them within their business or technology strategies. If you’re a government CIO, it’s your role to turn executives’ perceptions around to enable future innovation and collaboration across your organisation and the community. Focus on the value APIs represent and the outcomes they’ll deliver, rather than technology. Open government transparency programs are supported by APIs. They also support innovation, from government services to empowering ecosystem partners, through to community-led innovation distributed across a range of third parties. APIs are used to improve integration into third-party platforms, such as Google Maps. They improve the government's agility to support more rapid service model changes and they open opportunities for new revenue sources. They also support government efforts to improve operational efficiencies and improve cross-government data and service usage. By building a comprehensive, multi-faceted, value-driven strategy around these business outcomes and benefits, the real impact of the API programs will be recognised. This outcome focused approach will allow government organisations to reach beyond their organisations and governments to engage citizens, businesses and ecosystem partners through new channels.

Focus strategy on citizen, government or value

APIs are building blocks and enablers of digital government that require specific architectural and management considerations. However, these technical considerations and investments won’t resonate with government executives in isolation. APIs — and the investment required to support them — must be positioned as an enabler of outcomes, not an outcome in itself. You won’t succeed if strategies or business cases for investment in APIs or ecosystem platforms are perceived as abstract technology investments. An architectural decision to adopt a modern application architecture represents a significant investment in technology, skills development and time. This investment must represent measurable value beyond IT. The value of the API platform must be articulated in terms of tangible value to the organisation or the community. A business case in the taxation domain, for example, wouldn’t focus on the benefits of the technology. It would be built around coordinating efforts and orchestrating data from across the public and private sectors to simplify the user experience and help increase compliance and collection rates. The value must be outcome-based and aligned with the strategies, values and/or action plans of the organisation. These can be simple to explain, like the potential to generate revenue by monetising API products. They could be linked to multi-channel service delivery strategies or the engagement of ecosystem partners to drive innovation. Rather than the government developing additional channels for services, for example, it can choose to be an ecosystem partner and let other people build the apps or dashboards, saving it money while improving citizen service delivery. Examples of these types of APIs exist within the public transport domain in Australia. Most states offer some level of APIs for their public transport services, such as Queensland's TransLink APIs, Transport NSW and Public Transport Victoria. Some uses include real-time vehicle positioning for trains, buses, ferries and light rail vehicles, while others offer real-time arrival times at specific stops. The information is used by developers to offer services like trip planners through mobile apps. Alternatively, the APIs could fall into the operational efficiency category, putting an API in front of an existing legacy application to allow service innovation. Later, you may decide to replace the existing legacy application for something less costly without impacting the already modernised services. The value that the API represents must be expressed in terminology understood by non-technical government executives. If you’re building strategies or business cases for this investment, you must be able to articulate how benefits such as increased agility, improved scalability, operational efficiency or support for a continuous multi-channel experience represent value to the organisation.
Dean Lacheca is a research director at Gartner focused on supporting public sector CIOs on the transition to digital government.
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[post_title] => ‘Building blocks’ of digital transformation ignored [post_excerpt] => No longer simply the tools used by developers for internal systems, APIs can push digital government programs to new levels, writes Dean Lacheca. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => building-blocks-of-digital-transformation-ignored [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-05-29 09:13:56 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-05-28 23:13:56 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=30479 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [6] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 30052 [post_author] => 674 [post_date] => 2018-04-24 09:27:04 [post_date_gmt] => 2018-04-23 23:27:04 [post_content] => [caption id="attachment_30054" align="aligncenter" width="564"] Local government is facing a $1.9 billion roads infrastructure backlog, analysis shows.[/caption] Our data suggests a quarter of NSW councils are yet to develop asset management systems that would help them respond to the roads infrastructure backlog, says Annalisa Haskell. Analysis of data from our association’s Australasian LG Performance Excellence Program details council performance in the context of peers and provides insight into the policies allowing local governments across Australia and New Zealand to excel. In New South Wales, 80 per cent of the state’s roads are classified as local roads, which are funded and managed by local government. In August last year the NRMA’s Funding local roads report put the road infrastructure backlog for local government at over $1.9 billion in 2015-16, of which 79 per cent sat in the hands of regional NSW councils. [caption id="attachment_28375" align="alignright" width="125"] Annalisa Haskell[/caption] Roads represent one of the most significant assets management challenges for local government, and data from our program suggests more work is needed for councils to develop asset management systems to respond to this backlog. In our financial year 2017 survey of 136 councils, 74 per cent of NSW councils reported the presence of an asset management system in the category of road networks, compared to 91 per cent and 88 per cent of councils in Western Australia and South Australia respectively. The picture for NSW is worse when compared to New Zealand where 100 per cent of councils have implemented an asset management system for their road networks. New Zealand has also progressed with advanced infrastructure asset management strategies that have led to increased reporting, with 26 per cent of councils reporting at least quarterly, compared to 9 per cent in NSW.

What is New Zealand doing right?

The catalyst for New Zealand’s significantly greater performance in this area stems directly from amendments in 2014 to its Local Government Act. These require every council to create 30-year infrastructure and financial strategies, and to show that strategic assets are managed in an efficient and effective manner. The benefits of this system have translated to improvements in other areas related to strategic asset management; 89 per cent of New Zealand’s councils strategically link their long-term financial plan to their strategic asset plan, with the remaining 11 per cent of councils moving to do so. New Zealand’s regulatory requirement to triennially develop overarching 30-year linked infrastructure and financial strategies has seen significant improvements in strategic asset management far beyond what the special schedule component provides for. This is in contrast to NSW where only 55 per cent of councils link these two plans, despite the requirement for them to annually report on the condition of public assets in their annual financial reports. Our survey also assessed the extent to which a council’s long-term financial plan aims to generate sufficient operating revenue to maintain its assets without the assistance of outside sources, including the volatile Financial Assistance Grants. It found that 54 per cent of NSW councils now have an approved long-term financial plan that delivers self-sustaining council asset renewal, including roads, up from 50 per cent in the prior year.

Positive signs on rural roads

Given the extensive road network that rural councils must maintain, and the higher reliance on grants as a source of revenue, it’s interesting to note that the gap between rural and metropolitan councils in self-sustaining asset renewal is narrowing. Some 60 per cent of rural councils are in a position to provide long-term self ­sustaining asset renewal, significantly up from 47 per cent in the prior year and now just below metropolitan councils (64 per cent). This is a clear sign that regional and rural councils are taking strong steps to address the roads backlog and, for Fit for the Future councils, the recent announcement of the Low-Cost Loans program by Treasury Corporation will allow councils to further invest in roads. While new regulation will not immediately solve the infrastructure backlog, it is important that when confronting the issues associated with the roads backlog that we look also at the planning frameworks required and how they encourage long-term strategic asset management. It is equally important for governments to address these issues by looking to the strategies of other jurisdictions and better engaging with the sector so we can all be on the right path.
Annalisa Haskell is CEO of LG Professionals Australia, NSW.
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[post_title] => Asset management: are we on the right road? [post_excerpt] => Our data suggests a quarter of NSW councils are yet to develop asset management systems that would help them respond to the roads infrastructure backlog, says Annalisa Haskell. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => asset-management-are-we-on-the-right-road [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-04-24 09:35:22 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-04-23 23:35:22 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=30052 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 1 [filter] => raw ) [7] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 29811 [post_author] => 658 [post_date] => 2018-04-10 10:48:40 [post_date_gmt] => 2018-04-10 00:48:40 [post_content] => [caption id="attachment_29819" align="aligncenter" width="472"] Local and state governments need to carefully plan asset-sharing arrangements.[/caption] There are three steps that governments should take to protect themselves when seeking to share assets, writes Neville Cannon. Government agencies are under continual pressure to cut costs, particularly at the local government level. Interagency asset-sharing agreements, and occasionally ones with other entities, are routinely entered into to reduce costs. Council amalgamations aside, a lot of these sharing arrangements make sense. [caption id="attachment_29825" align="alignright" width="150"] Neville Cannon[/caption] Senior executives may wish to share physical infrastructure, software or human assets to make use of any overcapacity or headroom carried by one organisation. These opportunities offer a tangible cost saving as a prize, but they are often ad hoc and as such, carry greater risks. Some forward-thinking agencies take a different approach. They optimise the use of public assets from a more collective standpoint, creating opportunities to support wider digital initiatives, as well as the sharing of data to facilitate the delivery of new or improved services. The key is to think beyond what you might get in return. Constructing this collaborative ecosystem brings parties together, and elevates the many ad hoc arrangements into a strategic approach. If conducted openly and transparently, it benefits all from a risk management perspective. There are four types of asset-sharing models employed by local and state governments:
  • Barter: an exchange of services, access rights or staff resources with no monetary exchange.
  • Share: shared services implies central coordination and governance by the customer and a chargeback mechanism.
  • Quasi-commercial: political leadership decision to provide use of agency assets in return for economic development activity, not a public private initiative (private finance investment leased back to government agency).
  • Commercial: fully considered commercial arrangement to use government-owned assets to provide an open facility for all vendors to use in the provision of citizen services.
The latter categories are likely to emanate from policy decisions within the economic development domain to intervene in a market-failure situation, such as the provision of local telecommunications within a locality.

Making shared ecosystems work

Economic development strategies, such as making data centre space or dark-fibre rings available to commercial companies, are aspirational for many. The building of ecosystems often emanates from humbler beginnings, such as the ad hoc sharing of assets. This collaboration may even provide a sense of quid pro quo within the understanding, bartering one service off against another. Assumptions are made that the parties sharing the ecosystem can self-organise, share the same values, are equally supportive and that nothing will go wrong. There’s a belief that somehow common sense will prevail in any given shared arrangement. Typically the sharing of physical infrastructure takes the form of mutual pacts to share, for example, data storage rack space for backup or disaster recovery facilities; cable ducts with other public sector bodies to avoid disruption to the roads; or a centre of excellence, sharing spare capacity from a human resource perspective, such as cyber security specialists, database administrators or data scientists. Very often, existing relationships are prevailed upon to agree the collaboration in good faith between the various participating entities. These relationships are often personal and leadership-driven. However, how will the relationship fare if either party was to leave?

Safeguard your agency

There are three steps you should take to protect your agency when seeking to share assets: 1. Adopt simple formal agreements Adopt simple formal agreements to govern any asset-sharing arrangements with an agreed document, such as a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). This will avoid conflict when unexpected changes occur. Unfortunately, accidents and bad timing can happen, and the consequences can be significant. Agreeing on a mechanism to deal with the liabilities before they hit will go a long way in helping to maintain good working relationships when calamity occurs and tensions run high among those adversely impacted. 2. Make an exit plan available Protect future operations by ensuring that an exit plan is available for any shared asset and that its value is understood and recorded for the sake of transparency. The sharing or bartering of services and mutually sharing some spare capacity can be both tremendously valuable and sensible. However, CIOs on both sides of any sharing arrangement should contemplate the impact of an agreement ending under any set of circumstances. A suitable exit plan should be developed in conjunction with the business users. The exit plan may, in the simplest form, be a list of alternatives for the sourcing of that asset's capability. This latter action helps secure their buy-in and cooperation if it needs enactment. 3. Safeguard against unfair claims Protect your agency from claims of unfair or preferential commercial treatment of vendors by carefully considering any requests from vendors to have access to agency infrastructure and agreeing on basic contractual terms. Cable companies, for example, may wish to extend their fibre-optic networks in the most cost-effective manner by using existing cable ducts rather than embarking on expensive, disruptive road digs. To address these quasi-commercial arrangements effectively, involve the senior leadership, relevant departments (such as the highway department) and the legal team. While it may still be sensible at the start of the process to draft an MOA, it’s highly likely that a formal contract will be required. Ensure the risks are identified and understood by all. Neville Cannon is a public sector research director at research and advisory firm Gartner. He will be speaking about shared services at the Gartner IT Infrastructure, Operations and Data Centre Summit in Sydney on 30 April and 1 May 2018. [post_title] => How governments can safely barter services with other agencies [post_excerpt] => There are three steps that governments should take to protect themselves when seeking to share assets, writes Neville Cannon. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => how-governments-can-safely-barter-services-with-other-agencies [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-04-10 10:48:40 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-04-10 00:48:40 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=29811 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [8] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 29686 [post_author] => 658 [post_date] => 2018-04-03 09:58:23 [post_date_gmt] => 2018-04-02 23:58:23 [post_content] => [caption id="attachment_29691" align="aligncenter" width="660"] The tool allows councils to monitor their adaption to climate change.[/caption] A group of councils in metropolitan Melbourne has collaborated to develop a framework that tracks their progress on climate change, writes Dr Susie Moloney. Local governments are often at the forefront of responding to climate change in developing risk assessments and mitigation and adaptation strategies. [caption id="attachment_29716" align="alignright" width="137"] Susie Moloney[/caption] They play a critical role in the process of planning for climate change and enabling their communities to adapt and thrive. In Australia, local government plans and strategies are emerging but the extent to which municipalities are planning effectively and delivering on outcomes is difficult to assess. While there are a number of frameworks for monitoring, evaluating and reporting climate change adaptation and resilience, very few have been implemented at the local scale.

Pioneering Melbourne collaboration

A group of councils in metropolitan Melbourne – the Western Alliance for Greenhouse Action, or WAGA – has collaborated to develop a framework to track how well they are adapting to climate change and to improve their resilience. The project funded from 2014-2017 included the development of the online portal How Well Are We Adapting which is currently being used by a number of councils in Melbourne’s west. The group was responding to a recognised need to track progress on adaptation plans and actions and have demonstrated significant leadership in creating this framework and online tool, which they hope other councils may adopt. The framework was created collaboratively in response to international experience and by engaging a range of council stakeholders across different departments. It includes regional baseline indicators, climate variables, regional vulnerability or resilience indicators and priority themes relevant to council service delivery. These themes include:
  • community wellbeing and emergency management
  • open space and water security
  • assets and infrastructure, and
  • planning, building and regulation.
The project focused on developing indicators for the first two themes with the other two currently a work in progress. Each theme includes four components:
  • service vulnerability or resilience
  • institutional capacity
  • resourcing and budgets, and
  • participation and awareness.

Challenges identified  

The project highlighted that there were resourcing constraints for council officers given their pre-existing work commitments and insufficient work-planning. This was related to a lack of managerial support in some councils with other priorities seen to be more important. [caption id="attachment_29696" align="alignright" width="300"] The 'How well are we adapting' tool[/caption] There was also longer than expected timeframes involved in effectively engaging with internal council stakeholders, particularly from non-sustainability teams who may not be familiar with climate change or where it is not central to their work. The project also highlighted that an organisation’s capacity to commit to a process of data collection, monitoring, evaluation, learning and review requires political and senior management support and necessary resourcing.

Benefits of the approach

Participant councils recognised the value in using the framework and the indicators to inform decision making and improve processes around climate change adaptation. The councils were also able to thoroughly embed adaptation into their activities and found that data engaged senior managers by taking climate change adaptation from an abstract issue with ill-defined effects on service delivery to a tangible issue that directly impacted their work. The framework can also be used to monitor governance and compliance for adaptation against internal strategies and assist with state government legislative requirements. It also provides a platform to compare differences and identify what is working and what needs to be improved, and gives council staff a sense of ownership as something that has been designed by them and for their decision making. The co-production process involved in the project increased recognition of the need to adapt to climate change, and contributed to capacity building among council staff, particularly recognition of how climate change impacts affects their roles and responsibilities in local government. It also enables staff to shift their perspective toward longer term timeframes for decision making and a realisation there may be conflicting adaptation goals or trade-offs around potential solutions at local and regional scales. Staff also recognised the importance of progress rather than perfection when learning to respond and adapt to climate change impacts and that the framework could be a useful tool to inform the learning process. Dr Susie Moloney is a senior lecturer in the School of Global Urban and Social Studies at RMIT University. She has written about the Melbourne collaboration for a chapter in the new book Resilience-Oriented Urban Planning.
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[post_title] => Climate change adaptation: lessons from leading local governments [post_excerpt] => A group of councils in metropolitan Melbourne has collaborated to develop a framework that tracks their progress on climate change, writes Dr Susie Moloney. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => climate-change-adaptation-lessons-from-leading-local-governments [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-04-04 08:55:38 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-04-03 22:55:38 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=29686 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [9] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 29656 [post_author] => 674 [post_date] => 2018-03-27 11:37:35 [post_date_gmt] => 2018-03-27 00:37:35 [post_content] => [caption id="attachment_29397" align="aligncenter" width="458"] The lack of gender diversity in local government management is self-perpetuating.[/caption] Shifting the perception of councils away from “roads, rates and rubbish” will also help reflect the contribution of women in the local government workforce. We’ve all heard the maxim referring to council business as "roads, rates and rubbish", which significantly distorts the community’s perception of what local government actually does. A Local Government Professionals Australia paper in 2016, Australia in a century of transformative governance: a federation for communities and places, found this perception can only be addressed by federal and state governments working with councils to promote the full role of local government and its unique intersection with communities. [caption id="attachment_28375" align="alignright" width="165"] Annalisa Haskell[/caption] Beyond the capacity of local government, there’s also the question of whether the “roads, rates and rubbish” view of councils, which has a strong male image associated with it, contributes to gender issues in the local government workforce. Data from the Australasian LG Performance Excellence Program has highlighted that the three service areas of roads, rates and rubbish reflect some of the most gendered in local government workforce. In New South Wales councils, for example, women make up 5.4 per cent of staff working on roads and bridges, 16.6 per cent in solid waste management and a more balanced 48 per cent in town planning. If the “roads, rates and rubbish” view of councils persists, so will the male dominated perception of local government. Unfortunately this is not being helped by the generally low female participation in the leadership of local government; only 29 per cent of women sit at manager level or higher in NSW councils – a number that hasn’t moved over the past four years. Compared with the other geographic areas we track in the program, NSW’s female representation in leadership is well behind two of the other three regions and on par with one other. More broadly, it is also well below the 2017 Workplace Gender Equality Agency data which showed women accounted for 37.4 per cent of management across employers with more than 100 employees. This lack of gender diversity in local government management is self-perpetuating. A limited pipeline of women to management positions means an absence of female role models in councils, thereby reducing peer support and mentoring opportunities. It’s quite clear that local government’s PR problem of being seen as about “roads, rates and rubbish” affects more than community and government perceptions but also how the workforce views the sector. This is particularly concerning given the sector’s workforce challenges including an ageing workforce, a lack of formalised, embedded succession planning, higher Gen Y turnover and a possible lack of vertical opportunity for new entrants. While we know that the gender skew in local government does reflect broader industry trends in Australia, we don’t believe the sector can shift this radically any time soon without a broader strategic and holistic approach that also encompasses generational issues. As a start, local government can work on fixing its image. By shifting the perception away from roads, rates and rubbish we not only help address looming workforce capacity issues but paint a fairer picture of local government where the role of women - in all service areas - is equally recognised and celebrated. Annalisa Haskell is CEO of LG Professionals Australia, NSW.
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[post_title] => Facing up to local government’s gender woes [post_excerpt] => Shifting the perception of councils away from “roads, rates and rubbish” will also help reflect the contribution of women in the local government workforce, writes Annalisa Haskell. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => facing-up-to-local-governments-gender-woes [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-03-27 11:37:35 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-03-27 00:37:35 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=29656 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [10] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 29461 [post_author] => 658 [post_date] => 2018-03-13 09:23:40 [post_date_gmt] => 2018-03-12 22:23:40 [post_content] =>
[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="754"]File 20180308 30958 1d8aohi.jpg?ixlib=rb 1.1 The design for Paris Rive Gauche incorporates a mix of uses and access to green spaces. Image: Paris Rive Gauche/SOA Architects[/caption]
The regeneration of inner-city areas is a global challenge. Inner cities in France certainly have their problems, but the nation also has a good record of successful major urban regeneration projects. We have analysed three of these initiatives to understand what factors contribute to good regeneration outcomes. Urban regeneration can be defined as a holistic approach to revitalise under-used areas of the city. It’s commonly associated, however, with the related challenges of gentrification, rising property values, and displacement of low-income groups. And these projects do not always achieve a sense of place. French cities have much higher densities than Australian cities. For instance, Paris has 10,000 inhabitants per square kilometre, which is more than five times the population density of Sydney’s 1,900/km2. Higher density and more accessibility to public transport are important for successful urban regeneration. But this is not the only explanation for its success in France. With the post-industrial society, new approaches are emerging to solve planning challenges in France. Since the nation began decentralisation in 1982, local authorities have gained more power to implement planning strategies. At the same time, the multiplicity of urban stakeholders makes decision-making difficult. Since the 1990s, legal obligations to consult with residents have increased. Regeneration projects have to follow general planning principles but must also allow some flexibility to enable the local community to have an input.

Lyon Confluence

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="172"] The Lyon Confluence. Image: Lyon Confluence.[/caption]
Lyon Confluence is the largest urban regeneration project in Europe with 150 hectares of land having been redeveloped since 2003. The project is led by public redevelopment company SPL Lyon. It is 89% owned by Greater Lyon, a metropolitan institution made up of 59 local authorities. SPL Lyon is able to set up strict planning and urban design principles. Developers are required to integrate these principles into their designs to be part of the project. SPL sells the land to developers at a fixed rate. Developers need to win design competitions to be part of the project and not just offer the best price for the land. Lyon Confluence has attracted foreign investors, such as Japan’s NEDO, and became a model for smart positive energy buildings, which produce more energy than they consume.

Île de Nantes

The Île de Nantes regeneration project aims to transform a 337-hectare industrial area into a sustainable living and working environment. There is a strong emphasis on preserving the industrial character of the area.
[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="472"] The Île de Nantes project has transformed warehouses into places for cultural events. Image: Île de Nantes[/caption]
Another objective is to attract creative industries firms to a creative arts district to replace the local shipbuilding industry, which closed in 1987. A public redevelopment company known as SAMOA oversees the Île de Nantes project, which will be completed in 2037. Innovative placemaking strategies are being developed to create a sense of place connected to the area’s industrial past. The project includes a lot of consultation with urban stakeholders.

Paris Rive-Gauche

The Paris Rive Gauche project is one of the most important regeneration project in the city. The 130-hectare site is located in the east of Paris, on the banks of the Seine. Paris Rive Gauche means Paris Left Bank and refers to the Paris of an earlier era.
[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="471"] Work on the Paris Rive Gauche redevelopment began in the early 1990s and is now halfway through. The aim is to create a mixed-use neighbourhood around landmarks such as the national library and Paris Diderot University. Image: Paris Rive Gauche[/caption]
The aim is to redevelop industrial wasteland located around the Austerlitz train station. A publicly owned local development company, SEMAPA, manages the project. The concerted development zone, or ZAC (zone d'aménagement concertée), was launched in 1991. Works included the construction of the François Mitterrand National Library, which began in 1991 and was completed in 1995. Despite being overseen by one leading agency, the project is based on strong public involvement and the program has been modified. Powerful local associations went to court as there was not enough public space and the density was too high. In 1997, to prevent further revisions, SEMAPA developed a meaningful public involvement process to ensure the intentions of community stakeholders are incorporated in this large-scale project; developers are obliged to integrate these intentions. The role of the development agency is to select developers through a competitive process to achieve the best design outcomes. Paris Rive Gauche is not just another business district like La Défense, but a real urban neighbourhood developed around existing urban landmarks. It combines a mix of uses (offices, housing, local retail and services, green spaces) and good access to public transport.

What do these projects have in common?

The three regeneration initiatives presented here are all led by a single development agency financed with public money. This type of governance allows for clear leadership, which is essential to complete projects with a 30-year lifespan. Development agencies ensure through a public involvement process that these initiatives reflect local community aspirations. The creation of the ZAC as a planning instrument allows for the project’s objectives to be modified as it evolves. Development agencies have the financial capacity to sell the land below market prices and to subsidise housing for low-income households. The French planning instruments and financing mechanisms associated with public involvement in decision-making contribute to successful urban regeneration. This approach is known as “transactional urbanism”, reflecting the increasing negotiations between the development agency and the community. Sebastien Darchen is a lecturer in Planning at The University of Queensland and Gwendal Simon is assistant professor of planning and urban planning at the Université Paris-Est Marne-la-Vallée. This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article. [post_title] => Australia can learn from France's unique approach to regenerating inner cities [post_excerpt] => Three initiatives from France show that a single development agency financed with public money can provide clear leadership, which is essential to completing major projects, write Sebastien Darchen and Gwendal Simon. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => australia-can-learn-from-frances-unique-approach-to-regenerating-inner-cities [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-03-13 09:25:09 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-03-12 22:25:09 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=29461 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [11] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 29253 [post_author] => 673 [post_date] => 2018-02-27 08:58:34 [post_date_gmt] => 2018-02-26 21:58:34 [post_content] => Government agencies will always have different priorities than commercial businesses, but they can learn a lot from them. So says Rick Howard, government research agenda manager with leading IT analyst group Gartner. He was speaking at the firm’s Data and Analytics Summit, held in Sydney on 26-27 February. “Public trust in institutions is at an all time low,” Mr Howard said at a special breakfast for public sector CIOs at the conference. “But democracy rests on trust. The better government can deliver its services, the more it will be trusted.” H presented some of the results of Gartner’s 2018 CIO Agenda Survey, which gathered data from 3,160 CIO respondents in 98 countries. It included 461 government CIOs, which enabled a comparison of government ICT priorities with those in the private sector. “Government ICT expenditure is generally similar to that in outside of government,” he said. “But there is one area of difference. Government agencies generally spend less on predictive analytics.” Data from the survey showed that 27 percent of private sector CIOs said their organisations regarded business intelligence (BI) and analytics as a technology priority, compared to only 18 percent of government CIOs. On the other hand, spending on cloud was a priority for 19 percent of government CIOs, compared to just 8 percent in the private sector. And digital transformation was the top-ranked business priority among government CIOs overall, followed by security and governance. “Governments need to manage risk, and often that can be an inhibitor of innovation,” said Mr Howard. “But BI and predictive analytics can be beneficial to the management of risk. They can help you understand what your clients or customers – or citizens – want. They expect much more than they did a decade ago. “Digital transformation revolves around data. Public sector CIOs need to focus on expanding their data and analytics capabilities and creating a data-centric culture, by increasing the availability of open data for internal use and public consumption. Building out data analytics infrastructure is fundamental to improving government program outcomes and services to citizens.” Most of what government does is essentially a service, and they should be comparing themselves with other service industries, not other government agencies. What are the top performers in finance and health doing?” The higher government expenditure on cloud, he said, was essentially catch-up. “There was a lot of consolidation of government data centres a decade or so ago, before the cloud revolution. Consolidation became the new government business model and a lot of investment went into maintaining data centre. Now there is a new transition happening.” Mr Howard urged government agencies to experiment more with new technologies. Too often culture was an inhibitor. This is true of any organisation, but he said it was especially true of government. “It’s a battle between the ‘Art of the Possible’ and the ‘Tyranny of the Actual’. In government, culture seems to be a bigger inhibitor to innovation than a lack of resources or a lack of talent.” The survey found that digital business and digital transformation is more important for government (first priority for 18 percent of respondents) than for all industries (17 percent). Private sector companies ranked it second, after growth and market share. The next three business priorities for government are security, safety and risk (13 percent,; governance, compliance and regulations (12 percent); and technology initiatives and improvements (11 percent). “Government CIOs have conflicting priorities. They need to bring transformative change to their organisations, while pursuing compliance-oriented priorities,” said Mr Howard. “They will need to work constructively with other business leaders to agree how to balance risk and innovation to support digital transformation.”   [post_title] => Governments aren't businesses - but should act more like them, says Gartner [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => governments-arent-businesses-act-like-says-gartner [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-02-27 10:46:27 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-02-26 23:46:27 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=29253 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [12] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 29203 [post_author] => 673 [post_date] => 2018-02-21 06:59:00 [post_date_gmt] => 2018-02-20 19:59:00 [post_content] => [caption id="attachment_29210" align="alignnone" width="300"] Gartner's Dean Lacheca[/caption] Government agencies are looking to become leaner and more efficient. But sometimes bigger can be better. Scaling government services delivery makes sense if government collaborates and digital is used effectively. The social and economic benefits to society of government's investment in digital solutions increases significantly when delivered at scale. To do this effectively means scaling across multiple perspectives – up, across and out. Scaling up through all aspects of a government department delivers organisation and citizen benefits. Scaling across the silos of a local, state or federal government delivers whole-of-government (WoG) and community benefits. Scaling out into the social, community and financial ecosystem that government supports benefits the whole community. But scaling digital government is inherently challenging. Moving government services to digital channels as solutions to a specific problem, for example, can offer immediate benefits, but may limit the political appetite and budget for further scaling. Whether you’re scaling up, across or out, all of these dimensions are interdependent. They rely on common technology platforms, leadership, collaboration and governance. But they evolve separately based on many factors unique to their society, including the nature of external pressures such as cultural readiness, as well as the maturity of the ecosystems. In Gartner’s 2018 CIO survey government CIOs cite culture, insufficient resources and access to talent as top barriers to scaling digital transformation. Large-scale programs across government often struggle with a lack of community trust in governments' ability to deliver change, competing political or leadership agendas, and existing legislation, governance, accountability, risk and procurement controls. Digital government comes from humble beginnings. Early e-government programs were linked directly to efficiency and transparency, with the focus on making traditional services available through online channels. The unfortunate consequence of these early efforts is that some government executives failed to see the benefits of digital, beyond placing citizen-facing online services on top of legacy processes. This resulted in a lack of understanding of the business drivers for digital transformation and a reluctance to commit to the level of organisational change needed. Digital government is government that is designed and operated to create value for citizens and the community by taking advantage of data in optimising, transforming and creating services. Government organisations that are able to advance their level of digital maturity will be more successful at scaling. Many governments already have mature digital strategies in place, which also address changes in underlying legislation. The NSW State Government’s digital strategy is a great example. It explicitly states that “frameworks will be established to support new legislation that is digital by design. Legislation that is fit for the digital age does not preclude emerging technology and new digital business models." Realising the benefits of digital at scale is about leveraging technologies to transform all aspects of the organisation. This transformation impacts structures and business processes. It also changes how we work with service providers, partners, businesses and constituents. Strong technical and business leadership is needed to succeed. This level of transformation requires CIOs to identify the right opportunity based on multiple forces – culture, regulation and technology. These forces can then be used as a focus for engaging the rest of the organisation and the rest of government in digital transformation. Dean Lacheca is a research director at Gartner, advising public sector CIOs and technology leaders on the transition to digital government. He covers topics including digital strategy, digital workplace, open data, government case management and citizen engagement. He is based in Brisbane.   [post_title] => Scaling digital government – up, across and out [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => scaling-digital-government-across [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-02-22 14:11:09 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-02-22 03:11:09 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=29203 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [13] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 29187 [post_author] => 673 [post_date] => 2018-02-19 13:32:05 [post_date_gmt] => 2018-02-19 02:32:05 [post_content] => [caption id="attachment_28375" align="alignnone" width="201"] Annalisa Haskell[/caption] The NSW Auditor-General’s recent report on service delivery reporting by the state’s Local Governmnet Authorities showed that most of them should be investing in more accurate and comprehensive analysis of how well they are delivering their services. The report said it is no longer good enough to look only at high level council financial and performance metrics. Why? Because each council also needs to demonstrate a deep understanding of their services in terms of mix, profile, efficiency and effectiveness, because that has a fundamental impact on understanding their overall performance. I have spent the last nine years as CEO of LG Professionals, NSW. I have worked very hard to sit in the shoes of a council CEOs and General Managers, and think ahead to what essential information councils might need to improve their own performance. Through a deep and enriching collaboration with the sector and PwC we have delivered an exceptional quality resource back to councils to help them with exactly this task. Councils are some of the most complex, operational and people-centred organisations in Australia. This is because of their broad range of services, and the fact that they are governed by so much disparate regulation. They clearly operate with significant risks. They need to arm themselves with the best data possible to help them understand the drivers of their organisation’s cost variability and what this means in terms ofresource management, costs and services. How can the best decisions be taken regarding changes to service delivery if there is no strong empirical and contextual view of each council’s cost drivers? Our open performance analysis tool unpacks service delivery, costs, outputs and workforce profiles with a purpose-built, accessible world class measurement model. Whatever size, shape or resources a council might have - this model works for all.

Sector Driven – Government Free Zone

Our Australasian LG Performance Excellence Program is not a government initiative. Nor should it be. It is a sector-driven initiative providing a deeper understanding of what is unique and similar about councils, compared to other councils. It is safe and enlightening and it has integrity,, ensuring that the maximum insight is generated for each council to enhance their operational decision making, and enhance their strategic planning – especially around services and the workforce. Since 2015, when we added a significant new service delivery development, councils involved can see how much council services cost and compare these with similar councils. With much more accurate contextual framing, each council can view their own results in context, catering for their own unique situation. Councils’ financial sustainability has been a significant perpetual discussion nationally (and especially in NSW more recently). Following the more recent stop-start approach to the NSW reform agenda, we are hopeful a more informed, intelligent and committed discussion will be had from now on, one that is driven by councils themselves. All councils need to take the initiative and drive the conversation to a more informed one. There are no excuses. For five years councils in NSW have had this ability – through our industry program – to fully understand their own relative performance, like nothing ever before. Council leaders can demonstrate they are in control of this, for the betterment of their staff and their communities. Of course, overall financial results are important and general sustainability is essential, but the risk with the traditional performance measurement blanket ‘ruler’ approach is that it simply describes ‘what’ the results are. It swamps any sort of understanding as to ‘why’. It can also drive completely wrong conversations with no informed discussion.

Time to get sophisticated

Most governments typically like to put councils into reporting categories. But I would argue that there is not one good result or one bad result for any one type of council. Not that you can arbitrarily categorise them  - that is very simplistic. It is much more mature to look at measuring what an expected result might be for a council given their unique elements that impact cost and then monitor improvement and change. Our program enables councils to more specifically identify similar councils and compare them to each other. This has significant upside, as it creates insight as to what the causal relationships are between their apparent results and their council’s profile. It identifies a much fuller story as to ‘why’ some results appear as they do so that the ‘what’ can be explained. It is difficult to compare councils who appear similar on the outside - for example, in revenue, size of population and even type (regional, rural or metropolitan) - because they cannot be compared on the cost of service performance without understanding all the things that impact their service cost. Their population profiles and population growth rates may be different, the physical layout and geography of the area along with the associated physical assets they have to manage, might be different, their rate bases with socio-economic levels and industry mixes might be different and finally, their service delivery methods may differ. Not all councils do the same things or deliver the same services. But even if they are similar they may not do these things in the same way. Service levels can vary and councils can choose either to insource or outsource services  It is unfair and unreasonable to do a blanket comparison of councils that may have real differences even if they look the same on the outside.. I don’t believe it is productive to box a council in, when our more granular data allows councils to be far more sophisticated in their comparative analysis with the objective of showing improvement. There are many things that impact a council’s cost structure and overall performance. This needs to be carefully assessed and understood by council, because all stakeholders increasingly expect greater data centred sophistication in all council decision making.   Annalisa Haskell is CEO of Local Government Professionals Australia, NSW, the leading association representing all professionals in NSW local government. It is part of a national federation of associations. Annalisa is developer of the Australasian LG Performance Excellence Program, developed in collaboration with PwC.         [post_title] => How councils can get a handle on their service delivery [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => councils-can-get-handle-service-delivery [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-03-01 15:23:44 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-03-01 04:23:44 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=29187 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) ) [post_count] => 14 [current_post] => -1 [in_the_loop] => [post] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 30817 [post_author] => 658 [post_date] => 2018-06-22 09:43:35 [post_date_gmt] => 2018-06-21 23:43:35 [post_content] => [caption id="attachment_30819" align="aligncenter" width="650"] Successful digital leaders encourage staff to think about how they can experiment, says Swanepoel.[/caption] From digital leadership to cloud cover, there's a lot that government can learn from the digital practices of other sectors, writes Lourens Swanepoel. Government faces many of the same challenges as businesses when it comes to navigating the opportunities and aches of digital transformation. Emerging technology is rapidly changing the world in which we work. Last year there were reports of a NASA robonaut being trialled as part of the workforce by Woodside Energy to take on mundane and even high-risk tasks, to increase safety and free up workers for more innovative and meaningful work. Most recently, Westpac announced it was trialling robotic process automation with some back-office tasks, while its customers deal with AI-enabled chatbots in its contact centres. [caption id="attachment_30822" align="alignright" width="150"] Lourens Swanepoel[/caption] Recent research by Avanade shows more than two-thirds of organisations plan to implement some form of intelligent automation within three years, while most leaders believe they must deploy intelligent automation to be leaders in their field. Those that don’t follow suit risk being left behind. These new technologies are rapidly opening possibilities across sectors – including government – and leaders should consider the impact on their organisation and how to best lead their workforce.

Digital inside

We’ve seen more organisations automating workplace functions to make way for more efficient, productive and innovative workplaces. Our research found that some of the top benefits of intelligent automation include increased productivity (50 per cent), making more workers available for complex tasks and innovation (43 per cent), and reducing costs (43 per cent). For example, we’re currently working with a business to make updates to its human resources system. It has introduced a chatbot that's able to manage and process employees holiday requests; book these in the calendar, deduct time from that employees annual leave and set holiday reminders. This simple change frees members of the HR team to focus on managing more complex needs. When it comes to the digital workplace, we see organisations building their digital future step by step, however it’s not only about the technology you adopt but also the culture you create around it. This is key for both business and government. One of the biggest barriers to digital innovation is peoples’ fear of failure because it often underlies their resistance to change. Our research identified that most leaders believe internal resistance to change is limiting the implementation of intelligent automation. Often it’s about how you incentivise people. That means encouraging staff to think about how they can experiment and make themselves and the organisation faster and stronger, rather than focusing on inflexible performance KPIs and annual reviews. It’s also a question of vision. Road maps and similar tools for considering what's possible now can open minds to new ideas, to a more agile and digital culture, and help develop capability for adaption. This mindset and ability gives people the confidence to embrace risk and experiment with digital innovation.

Cloud cover

According to Gartner, public cloud services revenue will have increased around 17 per cent year-on-year from 2016 to 2017 in Australia, in line with global trends. It isn’t hard to see why organisations are increasingly adopting cloud, given its many benefits. For instance, we recently worked with a major utilities company to use Microsoft Azure cloud services to provide elastic scaling at times of high demand. During the annual billing process many interactions caused a spike on billing systems, CRM and content management. By using cloud, the company could pay for the capacity required at any given time and scale this up or down, enabling it to reduce operational costs while knowing it has a reliable infrastructure when needed. There are other uses of cloud that government may also consider; a popular one is better communication to increase efficiency and productivity. For instance, cloud capabilities like instant messaging can enable user groups to communicate and share intelligence in real time, while Skype can support virtual meetings and significantly reduce the number of face-to-face meetings needed.

Digital leadership

A McKinsey report last year found a gap in digital competence at the board level and suggested that what's required is not technical wizards at the helm, but rather a general understanding of the available technology and how it can be used to change business processes and improve internal and external communication. Our research late last year also found a significant shift in leadership capabilities for a world driven by artificial intelligence and intelligent automation. The research found that more than half of global business leaders believed their understanding of new and emerging technologies, such as intelligent automation, will be more important for leadership than traditional specialisations like sales and marketing. To build skills and expertise, we’re seeing organisations increasingly send their people out into the world to discover new ideas and opportunities in digital from other businesses and industries. This is something that leaders in government may also wish to consider.

Becoming a digital leader

There is certainly no cookie-cutter approach to becoming a digital leader, whether in business or government. But based on our experience, here are some of the most important things to consider no matter the type of organisation:
  • Focusing on the business outcome and vision, not necessarily the technology – what you are trying to achieve, and how technology can then help you get there.
  • Igniting enthusiasm among employees – by creating a digital workplace that encourages employees to innovate and contribute to business effectiveness.
  • Bringing everyone on the journey – employees need to understand the vision to be able to get onboard.
While there is no one a one-size-fits-all approach, it certainly starts with being bold and recognising the need to adapt. Digital transformation will not always be easy, but government can learn from examples in business that the benefits it brings cannot be ignored. Lourens Swanepoel is the market unit lead for digital at Avanade Australia.
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Opinion

compressed - data

Rules for protecting citizens’ personal data

OPINION: With the Federal Government committed to a cloud-first policy, Australians have inalienable rights to know where their data is stored, and who has access to it, writes Rupert Taylor-Price.

Dollar Govt

Governments aren’t businesses – but should act more like them, says Gartner

Government agencies will always have different priorities than commercial businesses, but they can learn a lot from them. So says Rick Howard, government research agenda manager with leading IT analyst group Gartner. He was speaking at the firm’s Data and Analytics Summit, held in Sydney on 26-27 February. “Public trust in institutions is at an […]

Dean Lacheca

Scaling digital government – up, across and out

Government agencies are looking to become leaner and more efficient. But sometimes bigger can be better. Scaling government services delivery makes sense if government collaborates and digital is used effectively. The social and economic benefits to society of government’s investment in digital solutions increases significantly when delivered at scale. To do this effectively means scaling […]

How councils can get a handle on their service delivery

How councils can get a handle on their service delivery

The NSW Auditor-General’s recent report on service delivery reporting by the state’s Local Governmnet Authorities showed that most of them should be investing in more accurate and comprehensive analysis of how well they are delivering their services. The report said it is no longer good enough to look only at high level council financial and […]