August 12, 2004 | Graham

Department of Over-and-Under Communication

This post will probably cruel our chances of ever winning an ITOL Grant, but I just can’t resist. Information Technology On Line is a programme meant to provide development capital of up to $200,000 per project to eBusiness initiatives on a dollar for dollar basis.
What On Line Opinion and National Forum do is eBusiness. A little bit more capital here would give you, our readers, a radically better website with a lot more functionality, including interactivity, and the potential to really change the way Australia does its democratic business. So I’ve been keeping an eye out for each new round of grants, which essentially means adding myself to the DCITA email list.
As with most government grants, it sometimes looks like they’re straining to find worthwhile projects on which to spend the money ($1.2 M on average each year). Perhaps this explains why I received not one email, but somewhere in the vicinity of 15 identical emails, all to the one email address and all touting this scheme.
Alternatively, perhaps someone hacked their system, which would be ironic, because this round they are targetting e-Security projects.
Of course, it could be down to old-fashioned incompetence, because when I clicked on the link to find out more information – – it gave me a “page not found” error message. It works now, but on the basis of a redirect from the original URL, suggesting at the least that there hasn’t been a page at that address for quite sometime and the url was used in the email by mistake.
New Minister Helen Coonan needs to get on top of her department quickly. This sort of thing is mildly embarrassing, and the department does have form. If I remember correctly it spent $4 Million building its website in the first place under previous minister, Richard Alston.
On second thoughts. Perhaps they can just employ National Forum on a $200,000 consultancy to sort their systems out, and the profit should be enough to build a much better website than we have now, save them a grant and return some real value to the department.

Posted by Graham at 6:10 pm | Comments Off on Department of Over-and-Under Communication |
Filed under: eDemocracy

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