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Authentication Policy Principles For E-Government

28 April 2002

Enabling New Zealanders to have ready and secure online access to government information, services and processes is a step closer, State Services Minister Trevor Mallard said today.

Trevor Mallard said Cabinet has agreed the policy principles for electronic authentication of individuals carrying out online transactions with government agencies.

Authentication is the process of confirming the identity of a person. It covers the initial enrolment of a person and the online verification of identity.

Only some online government transactions will require prior authentication of identity but it is necessary for any electronic interactions involving the sharing of personal information, for example, income tax queries, student loan applications or fine payments.

“When the e-government programme moves into its online transaction stage, New Zealanders must have confidence that their personal privacy is not being breached, and agencies must have confidence that they are delivering information and services to the correct person,” Trevor Mallard said.

As authentication involves personal privacy issues, the development of the authentication policy principles followed a careful and gradual approach. This included consultation with community, public sector and industry groups and the involvement of the Privacy and Human Rights Commissioners, as well as international research.

The consultation process has led to the development of principles for the authentication of individuals carrying out online transactions with government agencies (see attached).

“The project team will now build on these foundations by designing an authentication process for e-government services. This developmental work on the authentication solution will be undertaken over the next 15 months by a project team based in the State Services Commission E-government Unit. The team will report back to Government in June 2003.

“The development of a trustworthy authentication process is a necessary step in achieving the Government’s desire to harness online technologies to deliver better quality, cheaper and faster services to its citizens,” Trevor Mallard said.


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