NSW Government’s latest app competition

apps4nswThe NSW Government has launched a competition to “design the next generation of apps to boost government service delivery, using open data”.

It’s clear that this outsourcing of development work in the context of a competition is the coming trend. I’m in no way certain it’s a bad thing, but I’m equally uncertain that it’s ultimately sustainable given the amount of wasted effort going into failed entries. And because people know that there’s a chance of failure the competitions have to be structured around short development times so that there’s a smaller level of investment. That works for low-hanging fruit, but it certainly requires careful management.

Anyway,  the latest apps4nsw sees a total of $45,000 in prize money up for grabs for the most progressive and innovative ideas that can help improve or transform how Government delivers services in the areas of Education and Communities, State Records, and Family and Community Services. On its face the Education and Community services areas are going to be harder to work with interestingly than the transport data that was released in the last apps competition. The State Records area is looking to showcase NSWs efforts during World War One and that seems more obviously self-contained. But the other two areas probably have broader potential for day-to-day useful apps.

According to the NSW Minister for Finance and Services, Dominic Perrottet:

“ICT is one of the highest priorities of this government, enabling departments and agencies to be more flexible, transparent and efficient in the conduct of their business.”

It’d be nice to see that priority reflected in actual teaching. But I quibble.

Winning entries for each of the three apps will receive $15,000 in prize-money to assist with further development. The closing date for submissions is Thursday, 13 November 2014. For more information and to enter the competition visit http://data.nsw.gov.au/apps4nsw

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