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Wednesday, 22 September 2010 22:24

Gillard takes on more ICT and Gov 2.0 work


The Governor General Quentin Bryce;s administrative arrangements order issued with the swearing in of Ministers confirms the expanded role of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet in the coordination of tech sector issues.

The orders remain unaltered for the Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, which continues to oversee broadband policy and programs; postal and telecommunications policies and programs; spectrum management and broadcast policies.

The department also oversees content policy related to the information economy - the area that has caused so much angst among anti-filter campaigners - as well as national policy relating to the digital economy, an area in which Communications Minister Stephen Conroy has been given additional duties.

Senator Conroy was given the extra title of Minister Assisting the Prime Minister on Digital Productivity in the new Gillard ministry, and it is in the administrative orders within the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet that this change is reflected.

In an expanded brief under Julia Gillard, PM&C is given Cyber Policy Coordination, the area where Senator Conroy is likely to be given some room to advise across a whole-of-government basis on matters that impact the digital economy - and in particular can drive productivity improvement, especially where it relates to improved broadband infrastructure.

ACT senator Kate Lundy's work in the past several years in Government 2.0 and Open Government issues are also reflected in the PM&C administrative orders. Senator Lundy was promoted to a Parliamentary Secretary role in the Gillard ministry.

PM&C assumes responsibility for issues of Privacy, Freedom of information, Management of government records - all core to Gov 2.0 and Open Government.

The Department of Finance duties remain largely unchanged under the new scheme. While the new administrative arrangement orders do not specifically outline its on-going responsibility for the Australian Government Information Management Office, its duty statement for "Government on-line delivery and information technology and communications management" cover this area.

The Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research retains its responsibility under the administrative arrangements order for industry development in the ICT sector.

Senator Carr's Innovation department and Senator Conroy's Communications department will continue to share responsibility for the industry's peak research agency, National ICT Australia.


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