Coalition ICT policy to focus on transparency, digital services

Promises to improve transparency around government ICT spending

The Coalition's ICT plan, unveiled today, focuses on improving transparency around government technology spending, encourage agencies to use cloud services and providing Australians with a free digital mailbox to receive communication from all levels of government.

Shadow communications minister Malcolm Turnbull and shadow finance minister Andrew Robb are officially launching the Coalition’s digital economy and e-government plan later today.

The Coalition claims it will improve the transparency of government ICT spending by creating a US-style online dashboard that enables taxpayers to assess the progress of IT projects.

From 2014, it will trial an opt-in ‘digital pigeonhole’, a free, secure digital inbox for citizens to receive information from the government; and require almost all government services and public interactions to available digitally (and in hard-copy) by 2017.

The Coalition also flagged plans to encourage standards in areas such as online identity verification and mobile payments, which it said are “vital to the growth of the digital economy.”

The Coalition would consult with states and territories to develop a national digital economy strategy as part of its proposal to update existing Labor ICT policies to reflect “best practice and innovation.”

And of course, the opposition reiterated its plan to deliver the NBN sooner and at a lower cost.

“With the Australian government currently spending approximately $6 billion per year on ICT, the Coalition is proposing an aggressive reform agenda to ensure value for money in ICT procurement, transparency of expenditure and better services for taxpayers,” the Coalition said in a prepared statement.

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