It’s no secret that much contemporary business innovation is technology-reliant, particularly in a city such as Canberra – dominated as we are by the services sector.
This innovation isn’t confined to the private sector. The expectations that Canberrans have for public service provision are also being influenced by new digital technologies and digital platforms, and by changing private sector service delivery standard and strategies.
The ACT Government acknowledges the need to embrace technology in our systems and business processes in order to meet the increasingly demanding requirements of citizens and provide services more efficiently.
That’s why the Government has launched the Digital Canberra Challenge.
The Challenge aims to stimulate innovation in electronic and mobile technologies, and in turn help to improve community access to government and public sector services.
The Challenge will help to promote a more effective and efficient government, and will feature two competitions a year over the next three years. Each competition will run for six months and will engage local innovators and small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the development of new or enhanced digital government services.
In the lead up to each round of the competition, ACT public servants and members of the public will have the opportunity to put forward unresolved business ‘challenges’ about the delivery of government services, with local innovators and SMEs then invited to submit conceptual solutions.
Coaching, mentoring and research assistance will be offered to contestants, to help them develop their responses to proven feasibility stage, and then to be published as case studies. The top two contestants in each round will receive $12,500 and $7,500 respectively as prize money.
The objective and approach of the Digital Canberra Challenge align closely with the ACT Government’s broader Digital Canberra Agenda, and also respond to rising community expectations of accountability and socially inclusive governance.
The ACT Government is committed to its collaboration with the local business and ICT community in the development of the digital economy and the promotion of effective government.
The composition of the Digital Canberra Challenge Program Board is a good example of collaboration between the government and the business and ICT community – consisting of representatives from the ACT Government, NICTA, CollabIT, and the Canberra Business Council.
We will continue to work with our partners to deliver relevant and innovative outcomes, and to embed thinking creatively and proactively about the opportunities of the digital age into our operations.
Canberra is an ideal place for the close private and public sector collaboration that the Digital Challenge involves.
And it is a great example of how the Government is helping to broaden the contribution of the private sector to the ACT economy by putting knowledge, innovation and creativity at the top of the ACT’s economic agenda.
So if there’s anything about government service delivery you think can be improved by the better use of technology, please spread the word.
I look forward to locals rising to the Digital Canberra Challenge, and to the private and public sectors working together to develop new solutions for government services in the Territory.
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Chief Minister of the Australian Capital Territory (ACT)