GOVERNMENT LEADS BY ADOPTING APPLICATIONS THAT SUPPORT BPMSUBMISSION TO: AUSTRALIAN TREASURY : REVIEW BEST PRACTICE MODEL FOR BUSINESS - BUILDING CONSUMER CONFIDENCE IN E-COMMERCE SUBMISSION BY: OIC XML & E-COMMERCE APPLICATION DEVELOPMENT GROUP Lars SORHUS Chair - Open Source Work Group PREFACE The Open Interchange Consortium [OIC] was formed in 1994 as a not-for-profit e-credits organisation by a number of IT Consultants, Small IT Consultancies and visionary large organisations including Commonwealth Bank, the Australian Industry Development Corporation [AIDC] and Optus. In late 1999 a number of members including Sun Microsystems and Software Engineering Australia - NSW formed the XML & E-commerce Special Interest Group [XZIG]. One of the first applications that was specified as an XML template was an Electronic Tendering system whereby the Tender was acknowledged as the first step in the e-business process In 2001 the Federal Department of Employment, Workplace Relations & Small Business commissioned OIC members to conduct a series of surveys with NSW Local Government Agencies "which addresses the relevance of XML in the adoption of On Line Service Delivery by Local Government Agencies in NSW" PURPOSE This is a submission to the Australian Treasury "Building Consumer Sovereignty in Electronic Commerce: Review Australian Best Practice Model for Business" As the Australian Retailers Association [ARA] submission notes "E-commerce is not, and never was, well defined, and it may indeed be a transitory phenomenon" To this effect members of the OIC adopted the phrase Electronic Information Interchange [EII] to cater for the plethora of issues involved with the Interchange of Electronic Information that includes business documents, Data, Graphics, Maps, Film, voice etc. The real issue for e-Commerce is not just building consumer confidence but having the regulatory framework in place to speedily resolve issues involving Consumers and Small & Medium size Enterprises that have adopted e-Commerce processes. This submission is to propose that in certain key applications that Federal, State and Local Government Agencies quickly promote the adoption and use of accepted standards and frameworks for Electronic Information Interchange before a range of conflicting frameworks are in place and the probability of a legal quagmire deters the adoption of the e-Commerce by all parties. An example of a key application is Electronic Tenders. Most of the Federal and State Government Electronic Tenders publishers actively encourage Small and Medium size Enterprises [SMEs] to submit a response for the application/consultancy outlined in the RFT. As SMEs provide 70-80% of the employment in Australia, what better example of encouraging consumers of the benefits of E-commerce could there be than for Government to show the way be adopting Extensible Mark-up Language [XML] & Open Source Software [OSS& Linux] applications that assist the employers use the Internet. MANAGEMENT SUMMARY This is a summary of the key issues and proposals in this submission on ways to build consumer confidence in e-Commerce: 1 As all Federal, State and Local Government Agencies are committed to implement the e-tender process in the short term, that those Agencies implement XML and OSS applications as the initial implementation rather than a second or third implementation 2 That Federal Government identify and eliminate the vested interests from the Standards development process so that the SMEs and Consumers are not trapped in the "Computer Frustration Dead-end" where none of the parties involved with giving advice on the e-transaction process can be made accountable 3 Whereby each Government Agency is not left to its own devices to develop e-Tender templates without the knowledge and experience to anticipate a different architecture is required for the e-Contract Management process The cost of this e-learning curve to each local Government community is not acceptable to the rate-payers 4 As the Federal and State Government states that it is committed to XML and OSS policies then training for Local Government Agencies should take place during 2004. 5 If Local Government can demonstrate the benefits of XML & OSS to the Local SME and Household Rate Payers, then local consumer confidence in the benefits of e-Commerce will grow dramatically. The issues to support this Management Summary are: A Why need for Government to quickly adopt BPM B Important E-commerce Technical issues for Government to understand 1 Limitations UN/ISO UNTDED Data Elements 2 e-Tenders develops to e-Contract Management 3 Dates a key issues with e-Contracts C Next Steps A WHY NEED FOR GOVERNMENT TO QUICKLY ADOPT BPM On 28 Sep 2001 John GRANT Chief General Manager Government On-line Strategy National Office for the Information Economy [NOIE] gave a presentation to the OIC XML & E-commerce seminar about the Federal Government strategy for all Federal, State and Local Government Agencies. Part of the discussion from the seminar included the "objective to enable SMEs to tender for e-business electronically from all Government Agencies". On 18 Feb 2003 John RIMMER Chief Executive Officer NOIE gave the Opening Address on Government policy on Open Source Software If the Australian Government wants to assist "Instill Consumer Confidence in E-business' then it either has to commission key applications that use XML and Open Source or implement applications that demonstrate that XML and Open Source technologies are incorporated as part of the those applications We would propose that it is very important for all levels of Government to quickly support XML and Open Source Software pplication such as the e-tender process developed by members of the Open Interchange Consortium [OIC] B IMPORTANT E-COMMERCE TECHNICAL ISSUES TO UNDERSTAND There are a number of issues with e-Business over the Internet that are very important for the Australian Government to understand have an impact of the rapid acceptance of e-Commerce. These issues include: 1 LIMITATIONS OF ISO STANDARDS The ISO 7372 UNTDED 1993 - Standard Data Elements which is part of the Electronic Date Interchange for Administration Commerce & Trade [EDIFACT] standard does not cater for specific address details for neither a company not an individual ie http://www.unece.org/cefact/ 3042 Street and number/P.O. Box (E) Desc: Street and number in plain language, or Post Office Box No. Repr: an..35 Note: Limitations to 30 characters in some postal instances, e.g. window envelopes. This is not sufficient in instances whereby delivery can be by street address and by PO Box 2 TENDER CONTRACT MANAGEMENT e-Tenders are the first step in e-Business with Government process. This process was defined as part of the OIC Tender Information Management Services [TIMS] Process in 2000 On 14 Oct 2003 the New Zealand Ministry of Fisheries published a Registration of Interest for a "Tendering and Contract Management System As yet no Australian Federal, State or Local Government Agency has issued a tender for Tender Contract Management. However as it is the next step in the e-tender process, it is vitally important for Australian Business efficiency for the XML and Open Source Software Standards Tender standards to be implemented into Government Agencies if e-Business is to provided the benefits anticipated 3 SIGNIFICANCE DATES FOR E-BUSINESS The OIC Tender Information Management Service [TIMS] was initially published on 07 Jul 2000. As the tender process become more sophisticated it became apparent that Dates are a very key part of the tendering process. Key dates include: 1 Date of Publication 2 Date Tender available 3 Date Briefing Session 4 Date Questions 5 Date Responses 6 Date Submission Due There is a Date and Time standard that has been developed for E-Commerce called ISO 8601 However members of the TIMS development group review ISO 8601 and found several e-mails from ISO8601 members complaining about the problem of over 300 difference acceptable time and date formats under ISO 8601 ! On 12 Feb 03, at 16:42, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote: > The ISO-8601 has three families of dates. > 1. Calendar Dates [5.2.1] > 2. Ordinal Dates [5.2.2] > 3. Week Dates [5.2.3] > > Components may be added to these dates > 1. Time of day [5.3] > 2. Fractions [188.8.131.52] > 3. Coordinated Universal Time UTC [184.108.40.206] > or UTC offset [220.127.116.11] +14:00 to -12:00 > > Possible Combinations > 1. Date and Time > 2. Date, time and fraction > 3. Date, time and UTC or UTC offset > 4. Date, time, fraction and UTC or UTC offset > In recent months a number of Government departments are now publishing a tender schedule that includes dates for the commencement and completion of the tenders contract Hence this is why the OIC Tender Information Management Services process uses a standard ASCII Date code based on the ISO 8601 YYYY-MM-DD hh:mm:ss version of the Gregorian Calendar NEXT STEPS The real issue for e-Commerce is not the acceptance of XML and OSS as Standards, but the adoption of applications that use XML and OSS. The OIC is an Australian organisation that has members: 1 win an International E-commerce award 1999 2 operate an XML & E-commerce Interest Group for 3 years 3 develop and implement an XML Application [TIMS] that has been submitted to ebXML Australia as an XML Standard 4 sponsor a 12 month SME e-Commerce awareness education program 5 form an Open Source & Linux Interest Group The members have the experience, knowledge and applications to assist the Ministerial Expert Group on E-commerce develop applications using XML & OSS standards to support a strategy to build consumer and business confidence in E-commerce through 2004 and beyond.