Government Technology & Government Resource Planning News Roundup

Most interesting GovTech and GRP news from last week, found by the FreeBalance Strategy and Innovation Group.
MICROSOFT CALIBRI FONT TO BRING DOWN PAKISTAN LEADER? The curious story of corruption allegations against Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif, the Panama Papers, and alleged manipulation of documents. As reported by the Associated Press, it all hinges on a font found on a document dated before the font was officially released by Microsoft.
DISTURBING ALLEGATIONS OF CORRUPTION IN SOUTH AFRICAN STATE-OWNED ENTERPRISE BY ERP VENDOR, SAP:  AmaBhungane, a non-profit investigative reporting group that has a strong record of exposing corruption, named SAP in a story based on leaked emails and documents that it says show how the Gupta family unduly influences the awarding of government contracts:

  • Allegation is that SAP paid kickbacks in the form of sales commissions to a firm linked to the politically connected Gupta family, helping SAP clinch a deal worth 1 billion rand ($76 million) with rail and logistics company Transnet and other state-owned firms
  • SAP South Africa declared that paying 10% commission to a 3D printer reseller controlled by the Gupta’s was normal business practice, but has been described as “thinly disguised kickback arrangement”
  • SAP subsequently put 4 executives on leave, but did not name them.
  • SAP has brought in acting management and has set up an investigation by a law firm overseen by executive board member Adaire Fox-Martin
    KPMG and McKinsey have also been identified in the corruption probe by AmaBhungane
  • Possibility that German and U.S. anti-corruption authorities will be involved in sanctioning SAP
ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE IN GOVERNMENT: There is concern about the use of artificial intelligence by companies and governments. AI in national defense has some interesting use cases as articulated by Ardisson Lyons, director of science and technology at the Defense Intelligence Agency, and reported by Frank Konkel in NextGov.
GOVERNMENT OF CANADA WEB CONTENT MANAGEMENT IT CHALLENGES: Karina Roman of CBC News reports on the curtailing of  “the multimillion-dollar project, acknowledging that its plan to merge 1,500 departmental and agency websites into a single website is sputtering.” The procurement of Adobe web content management as a shared service was meant to improve productivity and consistency across all Government of Canada web sites.
WHY SHADOW IT IN GOVERNMENT? Archana Vemulapall, the District of Columbia Chief Technology Officer (CTO) points out that shadow IT emerges when IT is not able to satisfy important needs. It’s much more than “unsanctioned tech in an article by Eyragon Eidam  in Government Technology.

William Eichler in LocalGov writes about a Socitm study showing that the majority of UK Council web sites failed to achieve usability for mobile sites or for site search.


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