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Stronger oversight of ICT projects and security

Hon Chris Tremain

Minister of Internal Affairs

24 June 2013 Media Statement

Stronger oversight of ICT projects and security

Internal Affairs Minister Chris Tremain says the Government ICT Strategy and Action Plan released today could save up to $100 million per annum by 2017, and extra funding for the Government Chief Information Officer (GCIO) will ensure better oversight of ICT projects and protection of New Zealanders’ private information.

“The Strategy and Action Plan has four key focus areas. First, all new services will be offered online by 2017. Online options are faster, easier and cheaper to use and will eventually become the default option for most people,” says Mr Tremain.

“The number of fixed line broadband connections is growing by 100,000 per year and New Zealanders are increasingly demanding online services. In saying this, we will continue to keep face-to-face options available for those without internet access.

“Second, New Zealanders’ information will be better managed. This means that sensitive information will be protected through clear security and privacy controls, while non-sensitive information will be shared between departments. For example, New Zealanders will be able to change their details once and choose to share this with multiple departments at the same time.

“Third, we want to see smarter investment and savings across the public sector. Shared investments and collaboration will lead to economies of scale, lower costs, and more consistent services.

“Fourth, the Strategy and Action Plan will have a clear focus on stronger leadership across the public sector.

“The recent GCIO Review and Ministerial Inquiry into Novopay highlighted that ICT needs to be managed better. Alongside the Strategy and Action Plan, we have strengthened the role of the GCIO to provide better oversight of privacy and security issues, and independent advice regarding major projects.

“The GCIO will now be able to provide a public sector-wide overview of ICT plans, projects and risks. This will identify areas where early intervention is required, and provide Ministers with independent advice on whether projects should proceed.

“New Zealanders’ information will be better protected with oversight from the GCIO, who will report to Ministers on any security risks. The GCIO will implement clear privacy and security standards and controls across the public sector.

“This will be supported by an additional $1.5 million for additional staff and resources. This builds on extra funding agreed to last year, of $3 million in 2012/13 and $4 million thereafter.”

The Strategy and Action Plan contributes to two of the Government’s Better Public Services targets:

• New Zealand businesses have a one-stop shop for all government support and advice they need to run and grow their business (Result 9); and

• New Zealanders can complete their transactions easily with government in a digital environment (Result 10).

Good progress is being made towards these targets:

• 93 per cent of individual tax returns were filed online in the March quarter. This is up from 75 per cent when the targets were set.

• 68 per cent of people applying for financial assistance from MSD are now doing that online, up from 48 per cent.

• During the same period, about 35 per cent of adult passports were renewed online. This means we are halfway to the 70 per cent target within six months of the online service being launched. The online system costs less to run, so passport fees are cheaper and the average turnaround time is faster than ever.

• In the nine months to the end of May, 115,000 businesses filed 354,000 GST returns through the secure MyIR system, which is 18 per cent of all GST returns filed.

There will be a further update on the Better Public Services targets in July.

The ICT Strategy and Action Plan to 2017 can be found at www.ict.govt.nz/strategy


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