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Government moves to keep e-govt services secure

Government moves to keep e-govt services secure

Minister of State Services Trevor Mallard today released a discussion paper seeking public feedback on a number of options aimed at keeping government services on the internet secure through online authentication.

“Online authentication is an essential part of delivering some services over the Internet. Authentication ensures services are delivered securely to the right person. If you have ever joined a library, or used online banking, you’ll know about authentication,” Trevor Mallard said.

“You have to provide some evidence of identity when you first join the library. But from then on you don’t have to go through the registration process every time you want to borrow a book. It is much the same in the online world.

“The new government portal – www.govt.nz – already features over 3500 services and information resources, many of which are now available online. A lot more services are expected to come on-stream before too long.

“Government agencies have put an impressive array of public information online, but are increasingly looking to bring services online that offer the convenience and security you expect from good government.

“To give people confidence in secure online government services, a common approach is needed to online authentication across government. There are various ways to achieve this and that is what the State Services Commision’s E-government Unit is seeking people’s views on.

“If you aren’t a regular Internet user now, you may want to be in the future. So the Unit is keen to get as many people’s views as possible. The discussion paper is written in non-technical language to ensure as many people as possible can become involved in the consultation process,” Trevor Mallard said.

The Government agreed to a set of principles in April 2002 to guide the development of online authentication for e-government. In developing the principles the E-government Unit worked with community, public sector and industry groups and had the involvement of the Privacy and Human Rights Commissioners, as well as conducting international research.

The consultation process now underway by the E-government Unit aims to find ways acceptable to New Zealanders to apply these principles to build online authentication solutions that work across government.

“The views of the public and interest groups are important and will be incorporated into a proposal for consideration by Cabinet in mid-2003. We had useful input from a number of groups last year and will continue to work with them throughout the development phase to ensure we end up with a well-balanced solution,” Trevor Mallard said.

The discussion paper setting out the options, and questionnaire are available from: Web: www.e.govt.nz/authentication Email: authentication@ssc.govt.nz giving your postal address to request a printed copy Phone: 0800 346 886 to request a printed copy Post: Att: Authentication consultation State Services Commission PO Box 329 Wellington The closing date for submissions is Monday 7 April 2003.

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