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AU: AGIMO Pushes Public Servant Collaboration
Source: computerworld.com.au
Source Date: Monday, October 11, 2010
Focus: ICT for MDGs
Country: Australia
Created: Oct 11, 2010

The Australian Government Information Management Office (AGIMO) has moved to increase online collaboration between public servants with the launch of a new online forum, Government 2.0 govdex.

The govdex forum, a recommendation of the Government 2.0 Taskforce, is aimed at providing a resource for public servants to discuss Gov 2.0 projects and the lessons learned from implementing them.

According to AGIMO chief information officer (CIO), Ann Steward, while engaging with the public online was a crucial part of Government 2.0, it was also important to encourage online collaboration between public servants.

“The community is intended as a place where public servants can ask questions, share experiences and collaborate with colleagues, with guidance set by the Australian Public Service Commission,” Steward wrote in a post on the AGIMO site.

Steward also highlighted changes from the Attorney-General’s Department to its Statement of Intellectual Property Principles for Australian Government Agencies.

In effect, Steward said the amended principles endorsed the Gov 2.0 Taskforce recommendation that agencies should license their Public Sector Information (PSI) under Creative Commons BY (CC-BY) license as the default license type and only adopt more restrictive licenses after a process of ‘due diligence and on a case-by-case basis’.

“It also changes the default position of Government ICT contracts so that the suppliers will own the IP of any software they develop, while still ensuring the Government holds a license to use that IP in government activities,” Steward wrote.

Steward noted that the new policy requires agencies held under the Financial Management and Accountability Act to have a starting contractual position of intellectual property (IP) ownership in favour of the supplier for ICT software development contracts.

“This is an important step for a number of reasons. IP is for many organisations, its most valuable asset, particularly those in the ICT sector,” she wrote.

“Ownership of IP will provide software developers with new opportunities to commercialise software, foster innovation, and develop export sales. In addition, if suppliers are able to grow revenue through leveraging the IP, there is a potential for reduced costs to agencies.”
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