Australians can expect to access all government services online by 2025, after the Federal government announced a major digital transformation project.
Speaking at the National Press Club on Wednesday, Minister for Human Services and Digital Transformation, Michael Keenan, unveiled the government’s inaugural Digital Transformation Strategy.
“The strategy will provide a clear direction for our work on data and digital transformation, with the aim to have all government services available digitally in the next seven years,” Keenan said.
“Failure to embrace technological change would deny Australians the incredible opportunities and advantages that digital transformation will bring.
“It also means we will get left behind globally.”
Keenan made clear the government’s goal of becoming “one of the world’s best digital governments” and presented the economic case for significant transformation.
He cited Deloitte figures, which estimate the cost of a face-to-face transaction to be $16 on average, compared to 40c for digital transactions.
“The Government estimates we have already saved taxpayers approximately a quarter of a billion dollars just by providing Centrelink customers the option to register with myGov and elect to send and receive their correspondence electronically.”
The strategy sets aside an initial 100 milestones to be achieved over the next 24 months.
Tell Us Once
Coming much sooner than 2025 will be the ‘Tell Us Once’ program, which will have government departments better sharing relevant information.
“This is a service where - if you have to update your information or circumstances - you can just securely tell government one time, and any relevant government service will be updated on your behalf,” Keenan said.
He gave the example of the death of a loved one.
Rather than having to repeat this information to separate departments, the process will now be streamlined to “just one call”.
A pilot of the program will launch in 2019.
Making it work
Estonia is widely regarded as the benchmark when it comes to e-government, with 99% of government services now online.
But critical to this transformation has been a focus on maintaining cyber security.
Keenan and the Australian government are looking to take a similar approach.
“The Australian Government takes its obligation to protect the people’s privacy very seriously,” he said.
“Our approach is always security by design.
“We make sure security is built into the very foundation of every single project and digital platform.”
The government’s newly-created data agenda, led by the National Data Commissioner (NDC), is likely to play a key role in this.