SA Premier directs agencies to offer services online

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SA Premier directs agencies to offer services online

"A modern public service should be paper-free".

South Australian agencies will need to make all new or refreshed services available online from now on, thanks to a ‘digital by default’ commitment signed by Premier Jay Weatherill.

The policy means government bodies will have no choice but to design transactions so they can be accessed via the internet, are smartphone friendly, and meet accessibility demands.

“A modern public service should be paper free,” Weatherill stated in his declaration.

In a speech to Australian Informatio members this week he complained that “in recent times, we have appeared static, caught in the clutches of a conservative aversion to risk”.

“Now is the time to break free,” he said.

The announcement also included a series of additional plans and strategies set to solidify the state’s IT direction.

Weatherill said the government would release a more detailed ‘digital landscape’ report by the end of March 2015 “to identify the capacity and capability of South Australia to help transform government services”, and a digital strategy offering agencies a step by step guide towards a “people-oriented digital channel”.

Progress against the digital by default agenda will also be tracked by what the premier has called a ‘digital report card’, to keep tabs on the rate of services moving online.

Despite the premier’s enthusiasm, however, the state has not entirely turned its back on paper.

“The government also recognises that not everyone can equally access digital services,” public service minister Susan Close said in a statement.

“Even as we make the shift to digital by default, consideration will always be given to the particular needs of those who aren’t able to benefit from the latest digital technology.”

The premier also made no mention of a long awaited cloud policy, which agencies are anticipating will finally clarify the state’s stance on contentious issues like offshore data hosting and procurement decisions.

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