The Commonwealth Government in Australia opened
up applications for the next round of the Platforms for Open Data (PfOD) program
on 1 March.
Under PfOD, which is part of the National Innovation and
Science Agenda (NISA), the Commonwealth
Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation’s (CSIRO) Data61, Australia’s leading data
innovation group works with Commonwealth entities to deliver high-value,
transformative data projects.
The PfOD program is designed to give Commonwealth Government
agencies an opportunity to work on Research and Development projects to
increase the availability of high-value government datasets, both between
government agencies and to the public.
Through a competitive process, Commonwealth entities can
submit a project proposal to work with Data61 to improve the way that the
Australian Government uses, re-uses and releases government-held data.
Troy McGregor, Agency Project Lead with the Department of
Industry, Innovation and Science (DIIS), is a past PfOD participant. Troy, with
DIIS, wanted to take the paperwork out of regulation and compliance as part of
Regulation as a Platform (RaaP).
“Kick-starting a project like this would be difficult
without a purpose built forum. I think PfOD provides an ideal conduit for
government to conceive, test and chart data driven transformation through
incremental and practical outcome based projects,” he said.
Now, RaaP is a proof-of-concept project seeking to design a
platform that supports a future ecosystem of digital regulation tools and
The PfOD program enables government agencies like DIIS to
explore opportunities that make more high-value government data available to
more people while preserving privacy.
Any APS (Australian Public Service) employee can submit a
proposal by 30 March 2018 by completing the PfOD Project Proposal template and
emailing to firstname.lastname@example.org. Successful
applicants will work with Data61 during May and June 2018 and the projects will
commence from 1 July, 2018.
Applicants must engage with and obtain sponsorship for their
proposed project from their agency’s Data Champion. If
the agency does not have a Data Champion then sponsorship at the Senior
Executive level is sufficient.
The project proposals will be assessed using the following
- Project has the potential for significant positive impact
- Project is consistent with NISA and aligned with the Public Data Policy Statement, for
example increasing the availability and/or innovative use of high value
datasets or services.
- Project is beyond ‘business as usual’ activities for the
submitting Commonwealth entity.
- Project is developed in consultation with Data61, in terms
of project viability and developing scope
- Project is consistent with Data61 research and strategic
Last month, the Digital Transformation Agency (DTA) opened
applications for the data fellowship program by the Australian Government. It targets
current employees of the Australian Public Service who are interested in
building data skills within their agencies. Up to 10 high-performing data
specialists in the Australian Public Service will be selected to develop a
solution for a data-related problem or opportunity. The data fellowship is a
3-month full-time placement with no cost to data fellows. Agencies will continue
to pay their salaries, superannuation and entitlements, with all travel and
accommodation costs reimbursed.