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PM Post-Cabinet Press Conference 24 June: ICT Action Plan

PM Post-Cabinet Press Conference: ICT Strategy and Action Plan - 24 June 2013

Scoop Audio+Photos

By Hamish Cardwell

New Zealanders' interactions with the government will be increasingly conducted online after the release of of the Information and Communications Technology (ICT)Strategy and Action Plan at a press conference at the beehive.

At his weekly post-cabinet press conference, the Prime Minister John Key and the Minister of Internal Affairs Chris Tremain outline a programme which aimed to be a one-stop online shop for businesses and citizens to interact with the government.

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Mr Key said the government had set the target of a 70 percent uptake in digital online options by 2017, and to have the costs associated in dealing with government departments cut by 25 percent.

The government took the responsibility of keeping New Zealanders' online information security seriously, Mr Key said, and was therefore beefing up the powers of the Government Chief Information Officer (GCIO)- Internal Affairs CEO, Colin MacDonald.

"[Mr MacDonald] would have a public-sector wide mandate to oversee the safety and security of all public sector websites, ICT systems, agency procurement arrangements and new ICT initiatives”.

The GCIO would be provided with additional funding and staff, Mr Key said.

Mr Tremain said the plan aimed to deliver $100 million in savings per year by 2017 by having departments work together to achieve economies of scale through shared services and consolidation.

He said an example of this was RealMe, a shared login service which would allow New Zealanders to use one login and password for different government websites, such as the IRD and the Ministry of Social Development.

By 2017 all government services would become digital by default, although face to face services would remain for people who did not have access to the internet.

Overall, the programme would result in faster cheaper services for all New Zealanders, he said.

Mr Tremain said the government had issued a contract to New Zealand IT firm SilerStripe to create a common web platform so all departments had the same underlying system to create their websites.

He said department Chief Executives would still be responsible for managing risks in their agencies, but the GCIO would provide independent oversight and advice on top of this.

In questioning, Mr Tremain said there was no doubt that recent security lapses had dented the governments reputation for keeping New Zealanders' private information safe, but this had not stopped the demand for online services.

The Prime Minister was then asked about the New Zealand Law Society's submission on the GCSB amendment bill, whether he would would consider working with Peter Dunne and Winston Peters to see the legislation pass, and if he thought Aaron Gilmore had a shot at a return to politics.

ENDS

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