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Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Silence on Open Government Partnership seven days out from Mexico deadline

No questions of Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet about the Open Government Partnership in Senate Estimates yesterday and no word from the Prime Minister. With seven days to the OGP Global Summit in Mexico City, will Australia recommit?

Senator Gallagher raised a few other data policy issues with Deputy Secretary (Projects) Dr Heather Smith. Extracts:

Senator GALLAGHER: Dr Smith, has your position had a title change?
Dr Smith: Yes, my history on that chart was I was doing the G20 last year, so I was offline with the Sherpa. Coming back to government in March this year I have been taking on special projects.
Senator GALLAGHER: Again going on an org chart, and I do understand boxes do not necessarily reflect commensurate workl oad, could you explain to me what projects deputy secretary of projects entails?
Dr Smith: The two projects on the org chart, the first one reflects the recent administrative arrangements order of bringing data policy into Prime Minister and Cabinet.
That is DTO, is it?
Dr Smith: No, it contains data policy made up of work that was done in the communications department and also data policy in the finance department.
Senator GALLAGHER: Is that Government 2.0?
Dr Smith:It is but Government 2.0 as an issue does not really exist in terms of a workload. It is a combination of open-data work and, the government's portal for releasing public data.

Senator GALLAGHER: Do you have many staff working in this area?
Dr Smith: Within the Taskforce on Innovation there are currently 14 staff. Within data policy work there are 22 staff.
Senator GALLAGHER: Are they direct reports to you?
Dr Smith: They report to a branch head for data policy,
Senator GALLAGHER: Data Policy—was that newly formed as well?
Dr Smith: Yes, it was. It is made up of three components. Earlier in the year we were doing a project on public data management where the secretary asked Prime Minister and Cabinet to look across the APS at how well placed we were both to share data between ourselves and to release more data. That was an APS review. But the new work comes from the communications department and the finance department.



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