Home Government Tech Policy Australia headed for bright future as a ‘digital’ nation: Keenan
Michael Keenan, Minister for Digital Transformation Michael Keenan, Minister for Digital Transformation Featured

Australia is on the road to becoming one of the world’s top three countries for digital delivery of government services by 2025, according to the Minister for Digital Transformation, Michael Keenan.

Keenan was speaking at an Australian Information Industry Association event this week following the government’s directive to the Digital Transformation Agency to develop a digital strategy and a set of clear goals and next steps for delivering Australia’s digital future to 2025.

“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,” Keenan said.

He said the digital strategy would 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”.

Keenan noted that the government was investing more than $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,” he 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, and My Health Records.

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

Rob Fitzpatrick, chief executive of the AIIA, says his members were at the forefront of this impending digital transformation.

“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,” he said.

The AIIA says that to assist with capability building across the public sector, the DTA will be expanding the Digital Marketplace with a new Training Marketplace to be launched towards the end of the month – providing 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 by Keenan. 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,” Keenan said.

“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.

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

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

 

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