New government CIO posts first blog entry

Laurence Millar shares his thoughts on what transformed government might look like

Newly appointed New Zealand government CIO Laurence Millar made his first post on the State Services "In Development" blog yesterday, sharing his ideas about transformed government.

Millar writes that technology has always been disruptive and that information technology can be a catalyst for change in government. "There is an increasing expectation of individual New Zealanders for instant access to government information and services in the same way as from the private sector," he writes.  He writes that recent Nielsen research shows that out of every 100 people here, 84 have access to the internet and 71 use the internet at least once a month. "Of internet users, 68% used online banking in the last month, 57% used online banking in the last week, 44% used the Internet to buy airline tickets, 33% had bought books, 29% had bought clothing, accessories or shoes and 29% had bought event tickets.  "By contrast, only 7% of people’s last interaction with government was online." He says transformed government is designed around the New Zealander so that information is provided once and used wherever alllowed and wherever it is needed.  "A classic example of this would be a change of address which would be applied to all government systems where there is information stored about you," Millar writes  In business, this means standard business reporting so agencies can use the information they need from standard information supplied.  "This provides convenience and satisfaction to the New Zealander and streamlines the operation of government by reducing the amount of work that needs to be done, and increasing the accuracy of the data held," he writes. Millar adds that value for money from spending on information systems can be improved by using the same systems across multiple government departments — a build once, use often approach.  "It can also be achieved by changing government systems so that information is accessed from the single authoritative source within government. A register of company directors, or building practitioners or eligible students — all can be used to improve the quality and reduce the amount of effort to maintain the same data in different agencies." Millar says trust in government can be improved by using technology to enable effective dialogue between policy makers and citizens.  "This can use a variety of emerging techniques including collaborative authoring, wikis, and electronic consultation," he suggests.  He writes that SSC has identified three indicators of success for management of information:

  • grouping of services that apply technology to allow an individual — from one place at the same time — to access multiple programmes
  • channel synchronisation of government transactions within an agency or across government
  • the extent to which technology supports a user having to give the same information to government only once.

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