Antarctic Approvals Online — a ‘one stop shop'

The Antarctic Approvals Online (AAO) system, when fully developed, will be the new face of Antarctic approvals and support processes administered by the Australian Ant-arctic Division, providing a “one stop shop” for environmental and science approvals and operational and logistical support. The AAO system, which is being jointly developed by IT Services and the Antarctic Approvals Project Team, will be the first system of its kind in Australia, and is expected to commence full operation in mid 2004.

The AAO system will use the same plat-form as the Australian Antarctic Research Applications, which currently caters for scientific and some operational projects. Important features of the research applications system will be maintained, but its functionality will be increased and it will cater for a wider audience.

The AAO system proposes to include the following features:

single entry point– the AAO system will cater for all applicants for Antarctic approvals and/or support, including all scientists, operational and support personnel, VIP's and humanities program applicants with the Australian Antarctic Program , as well as tourists and others participating in non-government activities;

a tracking system for approval and support – to allow applicants and administrators to keep track of relevant approval and support, and culminating in a virtual 'boarding pass' for applicants;

two-stage application process– to increase flexibility, information will be gathered when it is needed; broad level information needed to start advance planning and assessment tasks will be gathered earlier than more detailed information;

personal and project profiles – to integrate the collection of information required for a number of approvals and support processes and, consequently, to reduce the time spent by applicants filling out forms and prevent duplicate requests for information;

twelve month availability – to cater for a broader range of applicants, a two-stage application process and variations to proposals;

formalised process for variations – to provide for a fair, predictable, transparent process for the variation of proposals; and

comprehensive reporting capability – to help meet the AAD's international and domestic reporting requirements and to increase utility for applicants and administrators.

If you would like to know more about the AAO system, you can contact Ian Hay on (03) 6232 3509.