by Andy Fenton – CEO of Desktop Imaging LTD

Transitioning towards digital public service delivery excellence

“Uniting leaders from government and industry to develop New Zealand’s digital capabilities for better public service delivery”

This is a great topic to assemble a panel of experts, and I was immediately impressed by the speaker line-up; sufficiently compelled to sign up and go along and listen for myself.  It starts with the two leaders of Internal Affairs – the Minister, Honourable Peter Dunne, and the Chief Executive Colin MacDonald, who is also the government Chief Information Officer (GCIO) touching on the government’s strategy and citizen-centric services via collaboration.

The program committee has done a good job because we move on in the morning from Central Government to Local Government initiatives and challenges.  It’s great to kick the conference off with the combination of how Central Government and Local Government organisations are trying to deal digitally with tax payers and ratepayers – the citizens of New Zealand – in the Internet age.

I’m professionally interested in transforming workplace processes using automation and digital technologies which is the theme for a mix of Roundtable discussion and presentations in the afternoon of the first day – engagement will be a key theme I suspect, both internally and externally.

Leadership is vital for issues surrounding change, as is communication, when talking about building a digital culture.  I’m looking forward to hearing from business and government leaders about this, after the Tuesday keynote intellectualises us with what’s going on in Estonia, where they have had an active program of digital transformation of government services.

Speaking of overseas Digital Strategy Initiatives…

I’m picking the UK Government Digital Strategy may come up through some of the panel discussions.  There’s been some interesting developments in the UK of late where despite the distractions of ‘Brexit’ they launched their own strategy with these aims:

The 2020 digital transformation strategy has five overall goals: business transformation; growing the right people, skills and culture; building better tools, processes and governance for civil servants; making better use of data and creating shared platforms, components and reusable business capabilities.

There’s a couple of informative opinion pieces here worth perusing:

“Cabinet Office minister Ben Gummer has launched the government’s digital transformation strategy, which aims to “change the relationship” between the government and the public.

The much-delayed strategy is intended to “take digital transformation further than ever before” by prioritising an overhaul of the civil service, developing skills and culture, using shared platforms, changing back-office processes and systems, and increasing collaboration.”


 Back in New Zealand – some notes on the Government’s ICT strategy for New Zealanders

Committed to making a change, the New Zealand Government launched the Better Public Services programme in 2012.  Under Result 10, the Government aims to make it easier for New Zealanders to transact with government agencies in a digital environment.  We talk about this a lot, this conference should provide a yardstick for how far we’ve come!

Government Service Innovation is about New Zealanders having easy access to government services, which are designed around them, when they need them.  The Service Innovation team is working with agencies on two main areas of work:

  1. Result 10 – making New Zealanders’ transactions with government easier in a digital environment
  2. RealMe – supporting New Zealanders to access online services with a single username and password, and prove who they are online with a verified identity.

It’s great that the Government Chief Information Officer is at the forefront of this conference.  www.ICT.Govt.NZ website tells us about the strategy and action plan and what we are doing:

“In May 2016, Cabinet endorsed the integrated programme of work to support delivery of the Government ICT Strategy .“

However it’s a bit naughty (given the topic!) that the above link doesn’t actually work and should be this one: (Oops!).

In closing

As citizens demand more timely access to services and information, there is a growing pressure on governments all around the world to rethink the way they deliver services in the digital age – I’m hoping the speakers at this conference help me and my fellow conference-goers think more laterally about opportunities and options here in Godzone/”Time Zone One” – after all it’s going to need a collective effort from us all to take our fantastic country forward.


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