What is the Government doing in digital government?

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Below is a summary of major work on digital government; for a list of all government initiatives, refer to Australia’s Tech Future website.

Delivering the Digital Transformation Agenda

The Government’s Digital Transformation Strategy complements Australia’s Tech Future. It identifies what the government needs to deliver to be a world-leading digital government. It shows how we will deliver better services with greater flexibility, more responsive policy, less red tape, all enhanced by digital technology.

The Digital Transformation Strategy articulates three strategic priorities that guide where the government will focus its digital transformation. These are:

  • Government that’s easy to deal with
  • Government that’s driven by you
  • Government that’s fit for the digital age

Improving digital services

The Government is making more services available 24/7 online and using feedback to continually improve services. This includes looking at how data already held by government is used to incorporate information for future claims or services, in turn making the process simpler, clearer and faster.

In 2017, significant improvements were made to myGov. The Government is now working on a new digital identity solution, GovPass, which will make it simple, safe and secure to prove who you are when accessing government services online.

The replacement of Australia’s ageing welfare payment ICT system is well under way – driving big improvements in the delivery of student payments.

Significant improvements to services for business have already been made, including the release of the Business Registration Service. This brings all Commonwealth business registrations together in one place, reducing the average time taken to register for an Australian Business Number (ABN) from over an hour to less than 15 minutes.

The Government is transforming and simplifying trade flows through Australia’s international supply chain, and providing businesses with a single window for international trade.

Using artificial intelligence

The Government is also exploring opportunities to use technologies such as artificial intelligence and blockchain to enhance government service delivery.

The Government is using artificial intelligence to increase administrative efficiency, improve policy development, deliver new and improved services, and analyse complex datasets. Some of its uses include:

  • IP Australia using a virtual assistant, named Alex, to help answer customer’s queries, decreasing phone calls by 50 per cent and costs by 66 per cent
  • GeoScience Australia analysing satellite data to detect physical changes in soil and coastal erosion, crop growth and water quality.

Ensuring services provide value for money

It is important that taxpayer money is invested wisely to deliver benefits and value to the community.

The Digital Marketplace is making it easier for businesses – particularly smaller businesses – to provide common ICT services to Government. The DTA is also undertaking ICT Procurement reform. As at October 2018, $300 million in contracts were awarded through the Digital Marketplace, with around 75 per cent being awarded to small and medium businesses.

The Government’s Secure Cloud Strategy is helping agencies to move to the cloud, reducing costs and freeing up effort to focus on better service delivery.

Ensuring people have the right skills to deliver great services

To design, build and deliver great digital services Australia needs the right people with the right skills. The DTA is working on a three-year Building Digital Capability program including talent attraction and retention strategies and a program to support staff to transition into digital careers.