Feds commended in international e-government report

A report into the e-government performance of nine industrial countries has highly commended the Australian federal government's work on information and services integration.

The report, Beyond e-government: the world's most successful ICT-enabled transformations, released by the head of the UK's e-government unit and CIO Ian Watmore, highlights the achievements of the Department of Employment and Workplace Relations and Centrelink for their integration with JobNetwork and other welfare agencies, and the Australian Taxation Office's electronic taxation services.

Special Minister of State Senator Eric Abetz welcomed the release, saying the report provided an extremely useful international reference point for the governments involved.

The US, Germany, Japan, France, UK, Italy, Canada, Sweden and Australia were rated in the report, which recognizes a number of shared challenges that all countries have in common.

The report also noted Australia's achievement across health, education, payment of benefits, corporate services, and public protection.

"The challenges that all countries share relate to managing the impact on human resources, managing ICT investment, information sharing between government agencies, fostering public confidence in e-government, and delivering savings to government, while effectively measuring the outcomes of investing in e-government," Abetz said. "The Australian government has been working for many years to address the particularly complex challenges that all countries face in implementing e-government."

The report was released overnight at the Transforming Public Services: Ministerial e-government Conference 2005 in the UK. The conference was co-hosted by the UK government and the European Commission's Information Society and Media Directorate-General.

Senator Abetz declared Australia to be one of the world's leading nations in e-government, a position that will be strengthened by the release of a new e-government strategy in the coming months.

"As Minister for E-government, I am extremely proud to see Australia's achievements highlighted on the world stage and I commend those agencies noted for their innovative outcomes in this area," Abetz said.

The report is available online at www.egov2005conference.gov.uk/publications/index.asp.

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