This site was developed to support the Government 2.0 Taskforce, which operated from June to December 2009. The Government responded to the Government 2.0 Taskforce's report on 3 May 2010. As such, comments are now closed but you are encouraged to continue the conversation at

Open for business – quotes needed for Round One of the Project Fund

2009 September 1
by Nicholas Gruen

Thank you to everyone who commented on the proposed project that we posted for public pontification recently.  Based on your feedback and the input of the Taskforce members we have refined our ideas and decided to proceed with commissioning six of these projects, which will be funded from the Project Fund.  Details of the requirements for each project are contained in the Project Proposal Briefs below, which you can download in PDF or RTF format:

  1. Enhancing the discoverability and accessibility of government information
  2. Identify key barriers within agencies to Government 2.0
  3. Survey of Australian Government Web 2.0 practices
  4. Copyright law and intellectual property
  5. Early leadership in Semantic Web
  6. The value of Public Sector Information for Cultural Institutions

Individuals and firms with relevant capabilities are invited submit quotes to undertake these projects on behalf of the Taskforce.  Before you submit your quote please take the time to read the Fine Print so you understand the terms and conditions that project funding will be based on.  Please also note the deadlines for the project deliverables – we need to move fast on these projects so that they can inform our thinking while we are writing our report.  It is our intention that for many of the projects, much of the work will be interactive with us and may go either to the production of an independent report by you or towards your contributing to outputs that the Taskforce ultimately takes responsibility for.

You will note that we have included estimates of the size of each project in terms of funds. I insisted upon this because, in another life as a consultant, I know how maddening it is not to have any idea of the scope of the project a client is contemplating.  But we are definitely focused on value for money. So please don’t write your brief up to or down from the figure we have quoted.  If you can save us money we’ll be intersted, and if you can add a lot of value by going over our indicative budget, we’ll be interested.  We’ll also consider ourselves welcome to give you a ring and discuss whether parts of your proposed project could be done differently to generate better value. It will also be of value to us if we can develop a trusting relationship in which some flexibility can be built into the contract to enable you to adapt your work at our direction – for instance by payment per hour.

Submitting Quotes

Quotes should be brief (no more than five pages and preferably less) and should contain the following information:

  • details of the individual/company providing the quote
  • names and qualifications of key people who will work on the project
  • a brief description of your capabilities/credentials to undertake the work, including past experience doing projects of a similar kind or in a similar area
  • a brief description of you proposed approach to the project
  • a breakdown of key areas of expenditure for the project
  • what contribution (financial or services) you are willing to make to the project
  • the name and phone number of the authorised person for further enquiries

Quotes can be submitted by email to

by 5pm AEST on Wednesday 9 September 2009.

As stated previously, the Australian Government welcomes contributions by private organisations or individuals to the Project Fund or to the Taskforce’s work generally, so if these are not the projects for you and you want to donate your expertise and/or services please send your proposal to  If you have an idea for how to spend the project fund then you are welcome to submit it on the same email address.  Please clearly identify it as such a project and it will be considered in the next round of projects.

Project Proposal Briefs

1. Enhancing the discoverability and accessibility of government information

2. Identify key barriers within agencies to Government 2.0

3. Survey of Australian Government Web 2.0 practices

4. Copyright law and intellectual property

5. Early leadership in Semantic Web

6. The value of Public Sector Information for cultural institutions

27 Responses
  1. 2009 September 2

    Hi Nicholas,

    Looks like a nice selection of projects :) The link to fine print doesn’t work.



    (no need to post this)

  2. 2009 September 3
    Mike Nelson permalink

    Nice selection of projects, but I am disappointed on two aspects.

    1) The reports must be in DOC and RTF formats. The Taskforce should only use open ISO standards such as ODF and PDF. One of the key barriers to all of these issues is blind adherance to proprietary formats.

    2) Once again this is being done by the usual government method of outsourcing to a contractor, completely ignoring the sensible suggestions of open sourcing any of the work.

    • 2009 September 3

      Hi Mike,

      The six briefs state that the Taskforce will accept reports in ODF.

      As the blog post above references, the Taskforce also welcomes non-monetary contributions to their work.


      Taskforce Secretariat

      • 2009 September 4
        Mike Nelson permalink

        I think you misread. The Taskforce should only use open ISO standards such as ODF and PDF. At least 20 other national governments around the world have mandated that only open formats may be used in the conduct of government business.

    • 2009 September 3
      Nicholas Gruen permalink


      Looks like we are crowdsourcing to me. And we’ve made a budget available if that is necessary also. If you want to propose doing a project using elements of crowdsourcing or is entirely crowdsourced we’d be keen to assess it alongside other proposals and choose what we think would work best. And if you don’t like our choice, you’re free to fork the project and crowdsource it elsewhere. If you do a better job of it, we’ll use your stuff (providing we have permission ;)

    • 2009 September 6
      simonfj permalink

      Nice approach,

      Can we take for granted that where each of the props talks about “a report, tool or method” in its Deliverables, it may also include “a (patented/non patented) specification” (for a tool or method)?

  3. 2009 September 3

    I’m really impressed. It is extremely helpful to have a price guide to the scale of the projects, and great to see such a common sense attitude the procruremnet relationship. Deadline’s a little tight! But you can’t win ‘em all :-)

  4. 2009 September 4

    Regarding “The value of Public Sector Information for Cultural Institutions”, I think that this from the UK may be of interest – – especially Case Studies Mapping the Flows of Content, Value and Rights across the Public Sector.

  5. 2009 September 4

    I like how the Taskforce left it open for people to also suggest other projects that would be of value.

    There are areas such as;

    Training public servants in the effective evaluation and implementation of Gov 2.0 initiatives
    - evaluation of current levels of understanding of Gov 2.0 in terms of its capabilities, risks, costs and implementation challenges and suggesting strategies for effectively educating government departments to assess and implement Gov 2.0 initiatives effectively.

    Quantitative evaluation of the benefits of Gov 2.0 to the Australian government
    - What monetary and social benefits could be realised through open data and online engagement initiatives, and how can they be valued in an ongoing basis.

    Methodologies for the effective management of shared online data
    - What is the emerging best practice on how to manage government data that is made available for sharing and mashups online. How does government accept data corrections and address NAA archival provisions.

    Just my 5c ;)



  6. 2009 September 4

    How can we ensure that we have the chance to communicate with the person/company who is writing the report?

    In a couple of categories we have information that we would like to contribute.


    • 2009 September 7

      Andrew – All offers to contribute to the success of these projects will be considered alongside the quotes from vendors – please send the details of your offer to and we will contact you if we have any questions.

  7. 2009 September 4
    Jimi Bostock permalink

    A good looking set of projects. Was a little disappointed to not see any actual practical projects to create exemplars.

    But I can see that you have, probably wisely, that you need to get a great overview of the state of play and some guidelines (as in web 3.0)

    I really look forward to the results and I think that your upcoming report will be one of the most important documents produced for government this century.

    Hope to see some practical work coming down the pipe later, there is one thing for sure, web 2.0 is in the doing.

  8. 2009 September 5
    Steve permalink

    Nested fine print:
    “and enter into a contract based on your quote with Microsoft Australia…”

    Could a pro-forma of the Microsoft contract be provided please.

    Acceptable formats
    Support Mike’s comments. PDF is not specified as an acceptable format. It is an ISO standard and is used extensively on this web site.

    Nick, do not understand your reply to Mike viz-a-viz crowdsourcing. Was the topic formats or forks…?

    • 2009 September 5


      I used the word ‘forks’ but it wasn’t my topic. Just an aside as seems clear to me. Not sure what you don’t understand. I’m arguing that what we’re doing here is a form of crowdsourcing – for reasons explained.

    • 2009 September 7

      Funding for these projects has been provided from a fund established by Microsoft in conjunction with the Government. Microsoft will contract with the successful tenderer for the delivery of the project in accordance with advice from the Taskforce. A draft contract template will be available shortly for the consideration of prospective tenderers. Questions regarding this process may be referred to the Secretariat at

      • 2009 September 16


        I was eagerly reading the comments about open standards when I came across this little gem about Microsoft being the ultimate contractor.

        I am sure everyone can fill in the rest for themselves …

  9. 2009 September 7

    I’m in the process of estimating a response, and I’m unclear about whether there are any travel requirements which need to be factored in.

    Are there any requirements to present findings in person, and if so, what are the requirements?

  10. 2009 September 8
    Thinking in old ways permalink

    Congratulations on the common sense approach to seeking tenders:

    “You will note that we have included estimates of the size of each project in terms of funds. I insisted upon this because, in another life as a consultant, I know how maddening it is not to have any idea of the scope of the project a client is contemplating.”

    This is an approach I have tried over the years to use for a range of social policy research projects – usually to have it rejected by managers who seemed incapable of grasping that these types of projects can be done for as little as $10,000 to $100,000 or more and that it is usually impossible to describe the actual level and depth of work that is being sought without reference to the type of budget that you think you are willing to pay. The bottom line is that competition on the basis of what people will provide for the money is not only an effective way of getting value for money – but also is much fairer to (and cost effective for) those tendering.

    • 2009 September 9
      Nicholas Gruen permalink

      Yes, I suspect there are plenty of war stories – certainly are from the consultants out there. If we can’t get some indicative indication of the size of the budget, we just don’t bother tendering. It’s a capricious enough process as it is, but without any ballpark number, it’s basically pin the tail on the donkey.

  11. 2009 September 9

    Thank you to all those who submitted quotes. The Taskforce is now reviewing them and the Secretariat will be contacting vendors early next week.

  12. 2009 September 24
    John Hockaday permalink

    None of this will work until you get rid of the Information Security Manual (ISM) that Australian Government (AG) agencies must comply with OR a cloud server is setup to contain all the AG applications and this cloud is not compliant to the ISM.

  13. 2009 September 24

    Has anyone pointed out to the Committee that the Project Proposal briefs are framed with reference to ‘paper’ deliverables – or their electronic equivalent – that is reports. T his means that your funding will be used to generate reports – rather than real web 2.0 models for action, engagement or innovation. Just something I noticed when having a look through the site.

  14. 2009 September 27

    I’ve just posted a blog article Understanding the OpenCalais RDF Response that may be of interest for Project 5 “Early leadership in Semantic Web”.

  15. 2009 October 19


    The vendors for the round one projects have now been chosen. They are:

    Project 1: Enhancing the discoverability and accessibility of government information: Hyro Australia

    Project 2: Identify key barriers within agencies to Government 2.0 combined with Project 3: Survey of Australian Government Web 2.0 practices: e8 Consulting

    Project 4: Copyright law and intellectual property: Professor Anne Fitzgerald (Queensland University of Technology)

    Project 5: Early leadership in Semantic Web: Semantic Transformations

    Project 6: The value of Public Sector Information for cultural institutions: John Quiggin (University of Queensland)

    You may also hear some more about these projects here on the blog or elsewhere, since several of the vendors have indicated that they want to reach out to the online community as they carry out their work. The outputs of these projects will also be released once they are complete.

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