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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 1 Hansard (22 February) . . Page.. 270 ..




Austouch Project

Ms Follett - asked the Chief Minister - In relation to the project known as AUSTOUCH:

(1) What arrangements have been made for the continuing provision of this service to the Canberra Community?

(2) Is it true that Telstra (Telecom) has withdrawn its expression of interest in operating the system?

(3) What arrangements have been made to ensure that information of interest to the community will be provided and maintained in an up to date format?

(4) What requirement did tenderers have to meet in relation to the provision of information from Government and other sources?

Mrs Carnell - the answer to the Member's questions is as follows:

(1) The AUSTOUCH service was trialled for six months starting 1 January 1995. The trial set out to evaluate the costs and service improvement aspects of AUSTOUCH. At the same time, this Government explored options for the effective management of the service.

A Request for Proposals and Tender Process was conducted between May and November 1995 for managing and operating the AUSTOUCH information kiosk system. This process has now been finalised and arrangements for the future provision of AUSTOUCH services is currently with the Government for decision.

A decision regarding the future arrangements of this service is expected in early 1996.

(2) Yes, Telstra (Telecom) withdrew its expression of interest in operating the AUSTOUCH kiosk systems prior to tenders closing on 17 August 1995. This was an internal decision for Telstra based on a reassessment of their corporate priorities.

(3) The AUSTOUCH project has developed a network of information providers throughout the government and community groups to ensure information is useful and interesting to the community. Reporting mechanisms are in place on each of the AUSTOUCH kiosks to monitor daily usage rates on all information content.

AUSTOUCH has in place published information management control processes to ensure information is correct and up-to-date for public access. This has involved government and community group discussions, thereby delivering a more efficient service to the community.

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