Special Minister of State the Hon Gary Nairn MP officially launched the Australian Government's e-Government Strategy Responsive Government, A New Service Agenda at Parliament House Canberra yesterday Thursday 30 March 2006.
Minister Nairn says that he is excited to have responsibility for e-Government and that the strategy will guide the Australian Government to 2010. Australia has been implementing e-Government since 2002 and that we now rank among the top performing countries in the world. The role that the Department of Employment and Workplace Relations (DEWR) and Centrelink have had in the integration process is greatly acknowledged together with Australian Taxation Office’s (ATO) e-tax program. For industry groups this is an opportunity to interact with government and to understand the Government’s future needs, whereby industry groups can develop products with Government rather than in response to Government. This allows for flexibility in deployment and procurement.
Electronic mediums are gaining acceptance from the community as a way of dealing with Government Departments. The strategy will focus on citizens, not bureaucratic processes i.e. AGIMO’s simplified sign-on process, whereby there is integrated and seamless access from a single entry point to a variety of Government agencies and services. This enables people to find what they want without necessarily knowing which Government agency they need to deal with. With the ever increasing number of people using online and voice recognition telephone services, connectivity is important, especially in emergency situations. It enables a quick and efficient response. Spatial content also benefits responses. Although individual agencies still need to be responsible and accountable, this is a whole of government perspective.
Ann Steward, AGIMO’s Chief Information Officer says that e-Government is about collaboration across and within Government Departments. Co-operation with a range of partners is required to reach a common goal. Information Communications Technologies (ICT) cannot be viewed in isolation, she says. It is built on relationships and common approaches in order to achieve consistency. The strategy will help identify opportunities for innovation and emphasizes the role of collaboration in national approaches and says there needs to be a renewed focus on transformation of business processes. The Australian Government Information Management Office (AGIMO) has a key role in coordinating core functions across government for ICT and concluded by saying this is the start of an exciting journey.