Australia to be among the top three nations for digital delivery of government services

The Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA), the nation’s peak member body for the technology sector, yesterday hosted the Hon. Michael Keenan MP at the National Press Club in Canberra. The Minister used this AIIA event to announce his vision for Delivering Australia’s Digital Future.

The Minister highlighted the Federal Government’s directive to the Digital Transformation Agency (DTA) to develop a Digital Transformation Strategy for the Commonwealth that will put Australia among the top three nations for digital delivery of government services by 2025.  The Strategy will be released in the third quarter of 2018 following agency-wide consultations which are currently underway.

“We have all seen that Australians are embracing technology like never before and they expect services – whether they are coming from government or the private sector – to be simple, convenient and easy to use,” said Keenan.

The Strategy will outline a set of clear goals and next steps for delivering Australia’s digital future to 2025. Keenan outlined that, “It will focus on enhancing service delivery, smarter decision making using data analytics, and developing a government business model that adapts to technology and challenges the current mindset.”

Rob Fitzpatrick, CEO of the AIIA, says his members are at the forefront of this impending digital transformation. “We were delighted that our members had the opportunity to hear Minister Keenan’s announcement at one of our Canberra luncheons,” said Fitzpatrick.

“Digital transformation provides opportunity for organisations small and large. If as a nation we are to achieve our goal, we must challenge ourselves to better utilise technology in our day-to-day lives.”  

As he continued his address, Keenan spoke about how the Government is investing over $90 million in this year’s Budget to build a federated digital identity solution as the foundation for a digital future. “Under our digital identity solution, citizens will only need to establish their identity once, and can then use it multiple times to access multiple government services,” Keenan said.

A functional digital identity, known as myGovID, will underpin the strategy with a number of pilots being rolled out progressively throughout the year. During the pilot stage online transactions will be available for:

  • Tax File Number applications
  • Registering a business through the Australian Business Registry
  • Connecting grants management services
  • Pilot services that will be connected to digital identity such as the Unique Student Identifier, and Centrelink online services – including Youth Allowance and Newstart
  • My Health Records.

In total, these pilots will enable approximately 2.8 million transactions to move from manual to digital.  

To assist with capability building across the public sector, the DTA will be expanding the Digital Marketplace (Marketplace) with a new Training Marketplace to be launched towards the end of the month. This will provide opportunities for industry and the education sector to help upskill the Australian Public Service, and offer broader opportunities for businesses and the education sector to provide services to government.

A new Digital Sourcing Framework focusing on a fair ICT procurement process was also announced. Consultation on Panel Policy is now open with the aim of reducing the number of panels, opening up the process more broadly and allowing better collaboration between buyers and sellers.

“It is our responsibility as a government to ensure that we rise to meet those expectations and make sure that we, as a nation, are keeping pace with technological change.

“Australia will be a world leader that other nations can look to for guidance and inspiration. From tax to welfare, entering the country or having a baby – we are changing the way citizens interact with government,” Keenan said. 

“In the coming months, we will make public our strategy and roadmap for the next steps in our digital future journey.”