Fri 27 Oct 2006 09:30
Draft Paper for Comment
Please submit your comments by 17:00 Mon 23 Oct 2006 to Paul JENKINS
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Paper: OASIS Open Source Conference 09:30 Fri 27 Oct 2006 at the Avillion Hotel Sydney - DRAFT

A	Introduction
B	Parallax View of eCommerce
C	XML & eGovernment Tender Process 
D	Local Government, XML & Economic Development Strategies
E	Why Legislation Required - Conclusion & Recommendation


Good Morning - I would like to start by congratulating Nga CAO of OASIS Open Standards for 
his outstanding work in liasing speedily by email with potential contributors and attracting
so many excellent speakers.

This is the 15th EDI/ eCommerce/XML/Open Standards Conference that I have attended since 1987
and rarely have there been so many high quality presentations 
(Ref A - EDI Conferences 1987-1992).  

I first became aware of the topic Electronic Data Interchange [EDI] in Apr 1987 when an 
article appeared in The Banker magazine which also advertised an EDI Input Conference in San
Francisco that June.

I was fortunate to attend a number of the early EDI Conferences in the Hague, London and
Brussels when John RAVEN International Trade Facilitation Adviser to the International
Association of Ports and Harbours [IAPH] and Sir John HARVEY-JONES Chairman ICI and Director
General of the UK Confederation of British Industry [CBI] were "spruiking" EDI.

Nearly 20 years later the words of John RAVEN as the Facilitation Adviser to the International
Association of Ports and Harbour [IAPH] are very important for Australian Local Government if 
we are to prevent similar eCommerce tragedies like the Australian Customs eCommerce debacle.

John RAVEN had written the foreword to the UN PORTMIS Report for International Trade 

His words were "current EDI practices are mere temporary relief trying to plaster 20th century 
techniques over nineteenth century procedures and enforce the employment of very expensive 
Value Added Network Services." 
(Ref B - AAPMA Letter 1988)

Sir John HARVEY-JONES was the Chairman of Parallax Enterprises - an aptly named company because
when implementing XML and eBusiness/ eCommerce an organisation has to consider a parallax view 
to do business electronically - a term he coined as "Business Process Re-engineering".

However many of the International eCommerce proponents have vested interests in "plastering 
20th Century techniques over 19th century procedures to enforce the engagement of those very
same International eCommerce proponents as hardware and eBusiness Service providers"

Having worked in the Computer Industry for over 30 years I can state that the Industry has 
led the way in changing peoples' lives both in work skills and entertainment.

However there were many times as an individual when "The Corporate Hat" and "The Family Hat" 
were in conflict over "Business Ethics"

The CIT Industry at times it is grossly irresponsible and often engages in unconscionable
conduct without any understanding of Social Obligations particularly when it comes to the 
Public Funding of CIT projects.


The reasons that I became involved in EDI was because as the Director of Office Automation of 
Burroughs Computers we had been involved with trying to resolve the issue of automatically 
filing incoming e-mail. 

I was working with a research team who developed a coding system to automate the filing and 
retrieval of Electronic Information including eMail.  

This coding system was called the RUBAC (Rational Universal Business Automation Code) 
Electronic Information Interchange [EII] process.

Part of this process was to develop industry templates for forms like Purchase Orders and 
Invoices and use email as the distribution mechanism to send the variable information in the 
The Electronic Business Cycle.

In fact this is how the Blackberry PDA operates now by using templates.

Our research identified that it was necessary to establish a separate field identifier for 
every segment of information on each form and link those fields as part of the electronic 

The Yankee Group which had been commissioned in 1987 to research "EDI in Australia" wrote in 
their report that "RUBAC was way beyond EDI"
(Ref C - Extract Yankee Group Report "EDI in Australia")

In 1997 OIC Members developed an Internet based Y2K Due Diligence process using the RUBAC 
methodology to enable Small & Medium size Enterprises [SMEs] to provide a weekly Y2K 
Compliance progress report for their Customers and Suppliers.

This eCommerce application also provided an automated back-up process for Small & Medium size 
Enterprises using the Internet as the back-up medium

This process won first prize in the "IT for SME" Category of the 1999 Global Bangemann 

The trophy was awarded to 3 OIC members by the King of Sweden in Stockholm.
(Ref D - Oz Wizards take Title SMH Jun 1999)


In 1999 Sun Microsystems joined the OIC to promote XML.  

Since that time the OIC has organised over 50 XML and eCommerce events with many international
speakers (Ref E - OIC Education Seminars 1994 - 2006)

Sun Microsystems along with CSC Australia contributed to the development of an XML based
Electronic Tender Information Management Service [TIMS] to provide a standard way for Business
to review Government eTenders

Currently there are 9 different Australian Federal and State Government tender systems each 
with a different way to locate tenders and download tender documents - there are many more
different tender processes with Local Government tenders.

 1	Australian Federal Government Tenders
 2	NSW State Government Tenders
 3	Victorian State Government Tenders
 4	Queensland State Government Tenders
 5	South Australian State Government Tenders
 6	Western Australia State Government Tenders
 7	Tasmania State Government Tenders
 8	Australian Capital Territory (ACT) Government Tenders
 9	Northern Territory Government Tenders
10	Fairfax Local Government Tenders
11	New Zealand Government Tenders

TIMS provides a standard XML Template for all these different Government tender systems and
provides a foundation for automating the eTender Management process 
(Ref F - eTender Template) 

TIMS has been operational since Jul 2000 and has published over 15,000 Government tenders.

However as I said before the Computer Industry can at times be grossly mercenary and strive to
create confusion that is not in the Public Interest.

In fEB 2001 the Federal Department of Employment, Workplace Relations and Small Business 
[DEWRSB] joined the OIC Local Government & XML Special Interest Group [LZIG]

DEWRSB commissioned OIC members to conduct a series of surveys with NSW Local Government 
Agencies on raising awareness of the importance of XML to provide Online Delivery services.

This contract was to obtain a more than 50% response from 172 NSW Councils for a survey on 
the Councils' understanding of XML - an extremely high bar for Surveys !

The project involved developing three On-line web surveys questionnaires, email and on-line 
telemarketing follow-up.

It illustrated why the RUBAC EII methodology was "way beyond current EDI experiences" when
the final report included the survey results from 51% of all NSW Councils. 


Under the Westminster System of Government, Local Government in Regional Australia has been 
for about 80 years the principal employer and source of income for many local businesses.

However under the current eTender process that is changing, as the Regional Organisations of
Councils [ROCs] and other Council Consortiums play an increasing important role in Local 
Government particularly with CIT issues.

A key part of the Australian Constitution, Separation of Powers Doctrine (Legislative Council 
{elected Politicians} , Executive {Public Servants} and Judicary {Judges and Magistrates}) and
Local Government is that the Mayor and Councilors, unlike their counterparts at the Federal 
and State Government levels, are unpaid elected Volunteers.

The Local Government Executive are paid by the Rates and Permit fees from the local population
while the Mayor and Councillors are volunteers

The Mayor and Councillors identified issues for the benefit of the Community, the Executive 
drew up the plans to have those issues completed and the local Judiciary enforced the local 
by-laws .

The Councils published tenders for local business to provide local work and the Community was 
self supporting

In 1989 the Local Government Relationship started to change with each State Government issuing
a new Local Government Act.  

All the States had passed the new Local Government legislation by 1999

The Town Clerk became the General Manager with a team of Directors and with the responsibility
of utilising IT to develop and support Recreation Strategies, Tourism Strategies, Economic
Development Strategies, Environment Management Strategies and Waste Management Strategies.

The Strategies are published as complex tenders which require an increasing IT content and 
Management capability supported by over-complex regulation in PDF formats rather than htm 

Local businesses no longer get the work and the Management of the Tender Contracts is carried 
out by International Firms not local firms.

Yet the Mayor and Councillors still carry the Responsibility !
(Ref G - Lismore Council Code of Conduct & Councillor Obligations)

While the new Local Government Act enhanced the remuneration for the Executive arm of Local
Government, the Mayor and Councillors who are responsible for all the changes are still
volunteers on a part time basis !

This is where XML in the Local Government Tender process can change the dynamics of Local 
Government and provide electronic Credits to fund Volunteers via the Electronic Transaction 
Act 2000.

XML and AS 4590 provides a standard template for the field definition of each name and address 
of every company and tradesman in the Council area. 

Unfortunately as I have mentioned before the Computer Industry can be a bit of a Boys' club 
whereby sometimes they stack Standards Committees to delay and confuse the Standards process.

This has been carried out in AS4590 whereby there are two different templates for the Address 
details - a  Simplex Address and a Complex Address version 
(Ref H - AS 4590 Address Formats).  

If one software house uses the Simplex format, Information cannot be exchanged with the Complex 
format and an expensive "Value Added Service" has to be employed to translate from one AS 4590
format to the other AS 4590 format.

It may only be one field but that is sufficient for a perpetual cost for each transaction
conversion !

This may be the reason that companies like Intel, IBM, Microsoft were co-partners in the 
Development of BizDex with an ITOL Funding Grant.

BizDex has been awarded the contract for the EasyBiz Electronic Hub contract for the 32 
Victorian Council Consortium - EasyBiz is probably the right word for the IT Suppliers that
have created a very expensive perpetual Hub for the Rate-payers to fund !

In the Australian Local Government Tender market there is a avalanche of large companies 
striving to establish Electronic Added Value Network Services Hubs so that Local Councils
not only have to place tenders on their own Web-site but also on 3 or 4 other Tender 
Consolidation Hubs. 

The "Added Value" that these Hubs provide is to consolidate the tenders or the Permit Forms 
with EasyBiz onto one Central Hub so that .................... - no one has been able to 
explain the Added Value other than to say "it is too complex for you to run it yourself" !

The costs have to be recovered from somewhere and possibly the Federal and State Governments
may subsidise the Local Councils so they can collect the Electronic Transaction Tax which was
Legislation passed by the Federal Government in 1999 and by each State in 2000.


Over the last 5 years over $ 200 Million in grants have been given to ITOL Applicants and 
Australian Local Government Agencies to provide online services for their Citizens.

Much of the Public Funds has been consumed by Councils engaging IT Companies that have
developed processes that are not in the interests of their Rate-payer Stake-holders but are
used to collect increasing Tax Revenue to fund Superannuation liabilities without having to 
pay staff.

There are other examples outside of BizDex of other expensive Value Added Services getting 
involved on the Local Government IT Gravytrain including the Western Sydney Regional 
Organisation of Councils [WSROC] that has just published a new tender Service for its members.

All of the Councils have a Tender page on their web-site.  However many are not used.  

It may be because many Councils find it "easier for someone else to do the job" hence send a 
fax with the advert to the local Newspaper printer or just send another fax to the "Value 
Added Network Service [VANS]" so the VANS key in the information into the Computer format.

This can be changed by Local Training possibly by The Citizens Assisting Government eInitiatives 
[CAGE] Network 

In 1996 the US Federal Government passed Regulations that all US Government Agencies have to 
use the US ANSI-X12 eCommerce Standard
(Ref J - confirmation 1996 US Gov ANSI-X12 Regulation)

Th Australian Federal Government and the State Governments can pass legislation that states 
that Australian Local Government Agencies have to use the same Field Code definitions for all 
Council Intranet and Internet Applications.  

It should be based on the Complex Address version of AS 4590.

This will ensure that both US and Australian software providers develop applications that use 
the same field codes and so that there is not a need for an "electronic Translation/Conversion 
cost" which is passed onto the Australian Public as a hidden cost.

The precedent has just be set by a tender for Oil Industry Dispute Resolution Services published
by the Federal Department of Industry, Tourism and Resources.

It has just issued a Mandatory Industry Code under section 51 AE of the Trade Practices Act 1974 

The same has to be carried out for the Australian Local Government industry to protect 
Australian Local Government Agencies and  Local Tax and Rate Payers from avaricious overseas 
IT organisations more interested in "forcing the employment of expensive Value Added Network 

Legislation should be passed to ensure:

1 	Each Local Council uses the Complex Address format of AS 4590 for all IT Applications
	amnd Government tenders

2 	Each council places its standard Conditions of Tender and Conditions of Contract on 
	its web-site as an html page not a PDF or Word file for download with each tender

3 	Each Council has to place all its tenders on its Web-site rather than outsourcing the 
	Tenders and the Tender Management process to a third party

If this legislation is passed it will lay the foundation to raise the IT skill levels of 
Regional Australia and generate real Economic Development projects for those communities.
Stephen GOULD is the former Director of Office Automation of Burroughs 
Australia (now Unisys).  

In 2000 he was acknowledged by IBM UK as a World expert in eCommerce.  

He has advised SME Associations in Britain and Australia on eCommerce Strategies. 

He has represented the Australian Small Business Association on Standards
Australia EDI Committee. 

In 2004 he was invited by the Senate Inquiry into the Australian-USA Free Trade Agreement to 
give Expert Evidence to the Committee on Chapters 15 (Government Tenders) and Chapter 16 
(Electronic Commerce) of the Aus-USA FTA.  

In 2004 he was invited by the Author of the United Nations Asia-Pacific eCommerce Strategy to
comment on the proposed Strategy


A	EDI Conferences 1987-1992.
B	John RAVEN IAPH Reference to expensive VANS
C	Extract Yankee Group Report "EDI in Australia"
D	"Oz Wizards take Title" - Sydney Morning Herald 09 Jun 1999
E	OIC Education Seminars 1994-2006
F	TIMS XML eTender Template
G	Lismore Council Code of Conduct & Councillor Obligations
H	AS 4590 Two Address Formats  
I	Citizens Assisting Government eInitiatives [CAGE] network	
J	US Government ANSI-X12 Legislation
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Revised: S: 11:05 Fri 2006/09/08 Syd 2095
F: 11:55 Fri 2006/09/08 Syd 2095
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Created: 19:05 Sat 2006/04/15 TW14 8LD
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