Strategic Partnerships for Local Government Ebusiness

The prospect of unravelling the complex web of Ebusiness drew a diverse crowd to a recent national Ebusiness meeting, sponsored by the Department of Transport and Regional Services and held on the 3 and 4 April 2001 in Melbourne. This meeting brought together 45 stakeholders from three spheres of government, Local Government Associations and Development Industry representatives involved in the provision or use of electronic service in Local Government.

From a national perspective, the Commonwealth considered it was vital to bring all parties to the table, particularly leading Federal Government players such as Networking the Nation (NTN), National Office of the Information Economy (NOIE) and Business Entry Point (BEP) to help forge some strategic partnerships and take the lead in facilitating a national framework for Ebusiness in Local Government.

Presentations were made by these agencies and the Chair of the Development Assessment Forum (DAF). The Australian Local Government Association articulated its application for funding through NTN for the provision of a national network, which includes the State/Territory Local Government Associations, to support Ebusiness in Local Government. Participants addressed the priority issues for Ebusiness and Development Assessment needs in Electronic Service Delivery.

Ebusiness priority issues

  • Interoperability (the ability of systems and data to interact)
  • Information sharing and transfer
  • Custodianship of data
  • Transaction types
  • The need for national standards for interoperability
  • The balance between innovation and strategic approaches to service delivery
  • Resource development
  • Intellectual property issues and the use of proprietary software
  • Data standards including quality, maintenance and metadata

Development Assessment issues

  • Opportunities to share intellectual property
  • The use of proprietary software
  • Custodianship of data and issues with regard to data standards, including quality, maintenance and metadata
  • The balance between innovation and strategic approaches to service delivery
  • A national portal for pre-lodgement, comprehensive information for customers and simple process information about Development Assessment systems.


  • The ALGA agreed to modify the Networking the Nation application for the State and Territory Association Technology Information Sharing Network (STATIS) to include information sharing on data transfer standards and information scoping.
  • NOIE will develop national standards on interoperability, using the UK model as a basis, and following a consultation process, present to the Online Council for ratification.
  • DAF to consider developing an application for NTN funds to deal with a national standard and protocol for Development Assessment online processes.

The workshop was the first step. Commonwealth agencies gained a much clearer picture of Local Government needs and some possible strategies to meet them. State and Local Governments and other stakeholders also have a clearer picture of where the Commonwealth stands, what it has done to date and what it has to offer.

For further information please call the National Office of Local Government on freecall 1800 065 113.