Govt CIO points to value of Aussie ICT report

Gershon report set to cause upheaval in Australian government IT

Government CIO Laurence Millar sees value in the recent review of Australian government ICT by Sir Peter Gershon. There are findings there that, he says, “resonate with my view of the challenges and opportunities in New Zealand”.

The Gershon review, published in August, resulted from wide-ranging submissions and will be used to assist the government in future decision-making.

Millar remarked on the quality and value of the findings on the e-government website’s blog (blog.e.govt.nz) last week.

However, he emphasises, any follow-up in New Zealand “will need to go through a similar process of research, analysis, recommendations and decision by government.”

Asked to amplify his remarks, he singles out Gershon’s comment that “Citizens now expect government services to be as good as those provided by the private sector”. This applies in New Zealand too, he says.

Gershon says the effects of an ageing population, global competition among various economies, and climate change “will continue to place pressure on public sector budgets to increase spending in areas such as health, education and transport“. Improved ICT is a factor in this. Millar endorses these comments.

Millar also points to Gershon’s finding that “across the board, agencies reported ICT is a fundamental business enabler and an integral part of their operations. There was also a unanimous view that ICT will continue to increase in importance.

“In particular, agencies commented on the increasing need for more robust and agile systems to:

• meet rising expectations from citizens and government

• deliver more efficient and effective services and operations

• harness information and intelligence

• manage increased complexity in the regulatory, business and policy environments. ”

“Nineteen agencies said that they expect the demand for online transactional interactions to continue to increase, with the safeguarding of citizens’ information an important consideration,” the Gershon report says.

“From my interactions across government agencies, these are common concerns and issues in New Zealand as well,” Millar says.

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