Commonwealth updates its Digital Government Strategy

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Commonwealth updates its Digital Government Strategy

The Federal Government has flagged that it wants much stronger architectural alignment across government departments which is seen as an essential precursor to establishing itself as one of the top three digital governments in the world.

The update to its Digital Government Strategy released late Friday afternoon notes “Architecture alignment is essential to uplifting our digital ecosystem. The Australian Government needs a unifying architecture to align government business, design and investment.”

The introduction of what is described as “standard architecture approaches across government” will help it deliver a future-ready, digital and connected government, according to the document.

"This latest iteration of the Strategy sharpens our focus on building capabilities that will support success for government, people and business, and demonstrates the significant progress we have made over the last few years."

According to the Minister, Stuart Robert, "As we enter this new period of economic recovery, agile and flexible digital capability will play an even greater role in helping Australia get back to pre-COVID economic growth."

"We cannot take it for granted, the use of digital services is here to stay and we must continue to enable greater access to digital services for all Australians.

"It will be anchored through better investment, stronger security, robust policy and a greater use of data. Improvements in technology mean that we already have more power in our mobile phone than was used to get the first man on the moon, and this trend is increasing,"

Among the goals of the strategy;

• producing higher efficiency and reduced costs for government
• providing a stimulus for innovation and investment
• establishing Australia’s leadership on the global digital agenda
• driving confidence and investment in Australia’s digital capabilities and products
• delivering better digital services with greater personalisation
• increasing public participation and trust

The document says its goal is that all government services will be available digitally by 2025.

“Australians rightly expect to complete their interaction with the government the same way they do with banks, telecommunications and e-commerce corporations. This expectation drives the requirement for all government services to be available online. “

By the same time, it wants Australians to have the ability to “complete all government interactions from consistent points of access including a dedicated access point for people and business.”

New services will be delivered based on a user-driven, citizen-centric approach that is based around life journeys, and success or failure will be able to be measured biennially against the OECD Digital Government Index.

To avoid the kinds of costly duplication of technology infrastructure and application development, the government is also highlighting the importance of its Digital and ICT Reuse policy.

The policy is designed to encourage agencies to reuse where possible, to design and build for reuse and to share what they have done to enable reuse. “Investment will guide government opportunities to ensure that digital projects leverage existing capabilities and align to government priorities and the Strategy’s principles.”

According to the policy, “We will coordinate the reuse of solutions across government and look at ways we can leverage existing capability before we buy or build.”

Digital Atlas

One of the few concrete examples of initiatives described in the new report is a national Digital Atlas which is described as a three-dimensional platform to visualise Australia’s
geography, and which will bring together government data on the economy, employment,
infrastructure, health, land and the environment into a single national data asset.

"The Digital Atlas will be publicly available and will, for example, allow businesses to be better informed on economic, demographic, and infrastructure settings to guide their decisions on where business activity and investment is best targeted," according to the document.

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