Australians will be able to access most government services online by December 2017 under the Rudd Government’s Digital First policy.
Under the policy, agencies will commit to using digital channels as the main form of service delivery and implement end-to-end online processing for government services with a single authentication process.
Speaking at the Technology in Government Summit in Canberra, the Minister Assisting for the Digital Economy, Kate Lundy, told delegates that agencies will replace paper forms with apps and face-to-face contact with video conferencing where relevant.
Consumer interactions with government online will be shared on social networks such as Twitter and Facebook.
“We need to be where the people have chosen to be and that is on social networks,” she said.
“The Australian Communications and Media Authority [ACMA] found in May 2012 that 82 per cent of Australians expect governments to deliver services online while only 6 per cent disagree.”
According to Lundy, engaging with government using digital means is generally more cost effective and time efficient.
She pointed out that the launch of online portal, myGov, in May 2013 has allowed Australians to access multiple government services with one account including Medicare, Centrelink, child support and eHealth.
“I will be taking a close personal interest in Digital First, and working to make our government services as easy to use as possible,” she said.
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Digital Citizens Guide
Lundy also launched the Digital Citizens Guide which is designed to help Australians stay safe online.
The guide was developed by ACMA and contains cyber safety information for use when banking, shopping, communicating and socialising online.
It encourages users exercise rights and responsibilities as a digital citizen, learn new skills and take charge of how they interact online.
"The Digital Citizens Guide builds on the success of the Cybersmart program, helping to provide a framework for online safety and security resources for the whole community which recognises the benefits of positive online engagement,” she said.
Hamish Barwick travelled to Canberra as a guest of Association & Communications Events
Follow Hamish Barwick on Twitter: @HamishBarwick