OnPoint by Keith Ng


Government Portfolios for Dummies

These are all the Briefings for Incoming Ministers I could get my hands on. They've been cleaned, sorted and fed to DocumentCloud, which scans and OCRs them automatically.

These documents are given to Ministers as introductory papers to their new portfolios. They cover the scope of their portfolio (i.e. What they should be doing), the assets they have under them (i.e. The Department/Ministry, its organisation and key people) and key issues in that particular portfolio.

They really are excellent primers on most aspects of government. You can, of course, use this cache to get some quick background about a particular portfolio, but also use the internal search functions to find specific areas of responsibility or specific issues.

Here you go, in case you missed the link up there. There are more advanced features in DocumentCloud, such as entity analysis and automatic generation of timelines. If you want to take a crack at it, let me know (message me below) and I'll hook you up with an account.


This is an experiment for two things:

1) Providing resources as a form of data journalism. Is this useful? Are you going to do anything with it? Drop me a line if you actually use this for something - I'd love to know.

2) Keeping better government data better than the government. Because why not. The Govt hasn't updated theirs since 2008, and heaps of the links are broken, PDFs are scanned and not searchable, etc. This took me most of the afternoon - it's not hard, and should be quite easy to add to and maintain (this was just the first grab - I'll fill in the gaps later).

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