Government IT strategy due next month

Document will chart course for next five years

The final form of the government’s Digital Strategy is due to be published in mid-May, says Julian Kersey, a spokesman for the office of IT minister David Cunliffe.

The strategy, which will guide ICT policy for the next five years, was first hinted at in a Computerworld interview by Ministry of Economic Development IT policy chief Reg Hammond in late 2003.

After a consultations exercise involving mainly government agencies but a few outside organisations, a draft strategy was published mid-last year, with “content”, “connection” and “confidence” in using the technology as its three main principles. Comments were invited from the public, but a digest of the feedback published in November was criticised in some quarters as offering little sense of a clear direction or the difference that the consultations had made.

Consideration of the submissions is now finished and the process of putting the final report together for publication is well advanced, says Kersey.

Some issues identified by Hammond at the beginning of the process, such as combatting spam, have already seen action, with legislation about to be introduced into Parliament. Other issues identified in the document haven't seen much attention, such as an expressed preference for "facilities-based competition" in telecommunications, which has disappointed those who read it as effectively signalling local loop unbundling.

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