INDEPENDENT NEWS

From Government Driven to Citizen Centric

Published: Thu 10 Nov 2016 03:05 PM
Hon Peter Dunne
Minister of Internal Affairs
10 November 2016
Speech
“From Government Driven to Citizen Centric”
Speech to 3rd D5 Ministerial Summit
11.00am, Thursday 10 November 2016
Busan, Republic of Korea
Tēnā koutou, hello and good morning ladies and gentlemen.
Thank you to the Government of the Republic of Korea and the Ministry for the Interior for hosting both the Government 3.0 forum and the 3rd Digital 5 Ministerial Summit – and kia ora to my fellow D5 Ministers.
New Zealand’s digital journey
I am delighted to join you today to talk about my beautiful country, New Zealand, and how our government is using the enormous potential offered by technology to transform the way we deliver services to our citizens.
New Zealand is a small country of 4.4 million people (and 31 million sheep).
But we have big ambitions for our future.
There is no doubt that technology is central to these ambitions, but our digital journey is not really about technology.
It is much more about our quest to exploit the enabling potential of technology to deliver better public services for our people.
Citizen-centric
Our citizens are pioneers, innovators and early adopters of technology and they want services that are easy to access, convenient and tailored to them – and they want them tomorrow, not in five years’ time.
So, we are transforming our public sector so we can deliver integrated services that are based on what our citizens need, not around how our government is structured.
In order to do this we need to put the customer at the centre of our service design.
We know there are key times in people’s lives when they need to interact with government, including when a child is born or at retirement; and so we are focusing on how we can best deliver government services around life events.
To this end, we are about to launch the first of our life-event based integrated digital services.
SmartStart will make it easier for new and expectant parents to access government services and support at a time when they are busy with other things, including catching up on sleep!
SmartStart is a digital tool that presents information for new parents from five government agencies, plus Midwives and our early childhood service, Plunket, in an easy-to-understand timeline that is personalised for each customer.
Government ICT Strategy
Our Government ICT Strategy is the foundation for driving collaboration between government agencies so they can link up behind the scenes and deliver innovative services such as SmartStart.
In the three years following the release of this strategy we have introduced all-of-government programmes around security and privacy, around ICT system assurance, and developed shared capabilities for agencies to adopt.
More than 140 agencies are now using at least one of these shared capabilities.
In this short period we have significantly changed how our government agencies buy, access and use technology and this has led to a saving of more than 77 million dollars across the system each year, with a target of 100 million per year in future.
Graduate programme
We recognise that with technology changing rapidly, we need new skills and new ways of working to help us meet citizens' expectations.
In order to recognise and capitalise on the opportunities offered by technology into the future, we have recently launched the New Zealand GovTech Talent graduate programme.
This programme is a core part of developing a talent pipeline to meet the needs of the rapidly changing ICT and digital skills environment.
It is designed to give graduates a positive experience of government as a place to build a career, and grow the ability of government agencies to attract graduates who will help with transforming the delivery of services to citizens.
RealMe
Early-on we recognised that digital identity is fundamental for digital services and invested in a tool we call RealMe, which can be used in both the public and private sectors to verify identity at a customer’s request.
Over 200 thousand New Zealanders are now using this identity verification service to order online birth, death or marriage certificates, renew their passports online or enrol to vote, or sign up to a university course.
And all of this can be started and completed from the comfort of their home, office or even their local café!
To ensure we continue to offer the best digital identity solution we can to our citizens, we are reviewing RealMe against the digital identity services offered by the UK, Canada, the United States, Australia and Estonia.
Passport
One of our best examples of digital technology delivering better public services is our passport.
In 2012, New Zealand launched the world’s first fully online passport renewal service.
People love it!
This is because they can work on their application and submit it any time that suits them from anywhere in the world.
Also, because 60% of applications involve no human intervention in the decision-making process, citizens often receive their new passport within three days.
My office and the Department of Internal Affairs receive a steady stream of positive feedback, and people often share their delight in social media.
Not complaints – compliments!
How often can you say that about government services?
Behind the scenes, our system takes full advantage of biometric technology and goes through 146 automated checks, maintaining the high integrity of our passports.
Within the first year, 25% of adult passport renewals were completed online and now we are up to 49%.
We have just added child passport renewals and urgent applications to our online passport service and we are the first country on the world where a citizen can apply for their first passport, entirely online.
We have come a long way since births, deaths and marriages records were kept in big dusty books in churches and court houses around the country.
Open data
We want technology to bring people closer to government, to foster democratic engagement and participation in our communities.
NZGOAL is our open access and licensing framework that provides open government data to citizens, entrepreneurs and innovators and brings to life the D5 principles of open standards, open source and open government.
At a recent GovHack weekend, a team of university students used open government data to develop a website called My Life, My Council.
The site uses local government data to allow people to see the proportion of their rates that are being spent on the services they are most interested in, and to compare this with spending by other local councils.
Knowledge gained from the website encourages democratic engagement by giving people more information around which they can influence council decisions and make their community a great place to live.
Conclusion
The world is changing rapidly and, in many respects our citizens are ahead of government, both in expectations and in understanding the art of the possible.
We live in exciting times.
Digital technology gives us the opportunity to make a real difference to people’s lives by making it easier for our citizens to accomplish their own life goals in education, buying a home, supporting their family, preparing for retirement.
In New Zealand, we feel our size is a distinct advantage, enabling us to test and innovate more quickly than most.
The opportunity before us comes around once in a generation.
We firmly believe that by putting the citizen at the centre of our services and anticipating their needs, we can make a lasting impact long into the future.
Ngā mihi nui, thank you very much.
ends

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