Nominations for membership of the ICT Policy Review Panel

rpm

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The Minister of Communications, Ms Dina Pule is calling for nominations for membership of the ICT Policy Review Panel.

This call follows the ICT Policy Colloquium which was held in April 2012 as a first step in the formulation of an Integrated National ICT Policy. The purpose of the ICT Policy Review Panel is to scrutinise the ICT policy landscape and make recommendations towards the formulation of a Green Paper and thereafter a White Paper on Integrated National ICT Policy.

The required panel shall consist of up to twenty (20) members; which will constitute an ICT core expert group whom about 6 members will be appointed as chairpersons of the six (6) working committees for Broadcasting, Telecommunications and Information Technology, Postal, Content Development, Digitising government, and Investment and Manufacturing.

The Minister will consider the following skills before appointing the Members of the Panel, inter alia engineering, legal, economics, education, business development, financial, regulatory and research.

For the terms of reference of the panel please visit www.doc.gov.za . The following information should be furnished in respect of person nominating and nominated:

  • Curriculum Vitae, Full name, Identity Number, Physical and Postal address, Telephone and Fax numbers, E-mail address, organisation represented if applicable and signature of person nominating and the person nominated.

Nominations should be made to Mr. Themba Phiri, Deputy Director General ICT Policy Development, the Department of Communications, Private Bag X860, iPariolli Office Park, 1166 Park Street, Hatfield, Pretoria, e-mail Thulisile@doc.gov.za for telephone enquiries 012 427 7718/7703/8000.

The closing date for nominations is 30 calendar days from the date of publication of the relevant Government Gazette No. 35408 that will be published on 01 June 2012.
 

rpm

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I nominate rpm.
Just no time :(

But I think it will be great if a knowledgeable person from MyBB can be nominated. Dominic is the obvious candidate, but I am not certain if he is available.
 

WireFree

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It is important to nominate a few good people who have the time to reside on this panel and are passionate about improving the ICT industry.

It would be a shame to have the panel monopolised by people with interests in the large operators, as they are likely to prioritise the interests of the incumbents.

There were quite a few people who had quite comprehensive submissions on the ICT Poliy Submission. Paul Hjul may be an candidate. A worthwhile consolation prize if he does not win the iPad. :D
 

ToxicBunny

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I def suggest dominic and Paul Hjul.

Even though I'm not knowledgeable enough, or in the right city... I would love to be on this panel as a "consumer" as to it were...

I actually think that might be an important thing to think of when nominating someone.
 

Paul Hjul

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I am truly flaterred at the suggestion - particularly being put alongside Dominic Cull - and suspect that it is a case of being seen to have an interest in the matter and having made submissions and taking on Telkom both on LLU and at ASA on guarentees on minimum speeds on ADSL back in 2006. Based on the general positions that I have taken I have doubts that the big boys at the ICT Indaba will want me on the panel.

I also sincerely doubt that my CV will get me beyond a first reading unless it accompanies a nomonator sufficiently hardcore - I mean does Jacob Zuma have a CV outside of his party affiliation? For the sake of transparency I really would like to serve on the panel both because of a belief that I would be able to add meaningfully to the process if it is run with some semblance of sense and because I think it will be very cool on my CV and should entail a few free flights.

I've specifically waited to see what emerged in the media and at the ICT Indaba (which I have major concerns on) about this panel since the nomination process opened. I am going to set out what I believe this panel should strive to be and to include rather than to think of individual people. I advocated in my submissions for the colloquium to adopt a more municipal IDP like approach towards ICT policy review rather than a once off "policy review" to satisfy some global fad and bandwagon.

Paragraph 17 of Submissions said:
In essence what is required is not simply “a fresh look at the way forward” but rather the emergence of the tools that ensures that our nation is always able to find a “fresh look” and further that this “fresh look” is able to be formulated into integrated national policy and that this policy is implemented.

Sadly my reading is that the DoC has committed to the ICT policy review bandwagon punted by the ITU - lets remember that there are current dangerous moves to migrate a great deal of control over the internet to the ITU with some very nasty implications for the core values that developed the Internet and may prop up several dictators. The proposed committees make it clear that the Internet as such is actually excluded from consideration being a subdivision of "Telecomunications and Information Technology". The route to create a false dillema of "free Internet" or "Internet for all" is likely to be introduced. All of the coverage of the ICT Indaba looks quite promising and there is a commitment to seeing technology industries being given the necessary support but on a fundamental level I don't believe that there is a sufficient understanding of the culture which made the Internet possible.

Adopting the position that it is the Internet revolution which should drive any policy review the Internet Society South Africa Chapter needs to be seriously considered as an organization which should nominate representatives (regardless of how functional the society is) and Alan Levin falls as an automatic candidate. Similarly ISPA (and again no comment is made as to the strength or functionality of the body) should have serious weight - despite the highly anamolous position created by Telkom's refusal to join. Any South African who has (co-)authored an RFC should immediately be bumped to the top of consideration list. Obviously alma mater pride steps in but Rhodes as the birth place of the South African Internet has significantly more "nomination" claim than the political parties and big businesses who are likely to make the nominations which are given weight. If Mike Lawrie is able to be available the sheer contribution of representing the foundation of the Internet in South Africa is an invaluable contribution to the ethos which this panel (or at least the committee addressing Internet matters) needs. Moving outside of pure nostalgia the fact is that Universities fundamentally ought to be strongly represented in policy making bodies especially those which require such out of the box thinking. It is particularly notable that a skills set not included is "knowledge of ICT history". We also should not be afraid to have non-South African's with a genuine commitment to the development of the Internet in South Africa serving the panel.

Further the panel will need to have a strong understanding of competition law, policy and theory and the Competition Commission should specifically nominate people. Similarly the Consumer Commission should be consulted and regardless of what a persons reading of the likely to be outgoing Commmissioner is she has an historic knowledge of the ICT sector and is not afraid to annoy the big boys - on a worst case presentation she plays to the gallery, is this a bad thing for the panel?

Obviously Telkom will need to have somebody on the panel but largely to ensure that it joins the solution side of things. The panel should also have a retired judge (preferably one who doesn't have shares in any of the major operators ...) both because of the unbelievable work ethic of judges and the presiding weight they are skilled at carrying.

The two fears that I have is (1) That the core notion of the Internet is what is going to be excluded in the process. The transformation of the ITU into the International Global Information Control Union is a major threat to the future of the Internet. And (2) The capacity problems of the State Law Advisors Office is going to render the entire exercise a futile exercise. One solution to the later is to entirely circumvent the SLA altogether and for the panel to advise the Minister exceptionally comprehensively, this solution might be easier if at least one member of the panel is skilled in legislation drafting.

Unfortunately looking at legal reform initiatives in South Africa it is easy to become dispondent. On more than one occasion I simply disengage with loooking at draft legislation because it is so bad and if you take a look over the various projects of the Law Reform Commission some projects seem to have a decent running but others are pure cringe.

O and a nomination for the panel is not a substitute for an iPad. I see they haven't announced a winner for the iPad yet.


Edited: It appears that a sentence went missing from my post - which probably means it didn't go from my head through my fingers to the post:I was sure after the Internet Society I mentioned ISPA
 
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AvatarS

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O and a nomination for the panel is not a substitute for an iPad. I see they haven't announced a winner for the iPad yet.

Check in later today to see announcement and happy reactions of the winner :)
 

Paul Hjul

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A significantly better presented rendition of a component of my argument can be found here. As an aside Prof Duncan would be a fairly good candidate for the panel if her schedule et al permits not least of all because of her current institutional affiliation. However to hone in on the point the content creation concept - in the white paper - is fundamentally static it doesn't seem to recognize social media or for that matter SaaS. Somebody with a proper understanding of SaaS and at least one media studies prof is going to be needed for the panel not to have a vacuum.
 

dominic

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i would like to suggest that MyBB nominates Paul Hjul as a consumer representative on the Panel. Personally I am deeply impressed by the degree to which he has got himself involved and the amount of knowledge he clearly has.

If there is agreement on this then MyBB should put together a nomination letter (which I can do) + Paul needs to polish his CV.

Firstly - Paul, would you be happy to accept such a nomination?

Also, from my side and if there is agreement, I will be nominated by other bodies but would appreciate a letter of support from MyBB (which I cannot draft :))
 

Paul Hjul

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i would like to suggest that MyBB nominates Paul Hjul as a consumer representative on the Panel. Personally I am deeply impressed by the degree to which he has got himself involved and the amount of knowledge he clearly has.

If there is agreement on this then MyBB should put together a nomination letter (which I can do) + Paul needs to polish his CV.

Firstly - Paul, would you be happy to accept such a nomination?

Also, from my side and if there is agreement, I will be nominated by other bodies but would appreciate a letter of support from MyBB (which I cannot draft :))

I would be greatly honoured to accept such a nomination.
 

twicode

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ICT Policy Colloquium -> ICT Policy review - > Green paper - > White paper - > Outdated

Too much talk and no action.
 
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