Public sector's wake-up call

Public sector's wake-up call

It has been two years since the Federal Government announced its mandate to move all "appropriate" government services online by 2001.

The intention was to facilitate information sharing by the public sector with citizens and between departments, by providing such services as online fine and bill payments. Ultimately the aim was to ensure personal detail updates and inquiries could be adjusted across connected departments through the three tiers of government.

"Our goal must be to achieve world best practice in the online delivery of government services, to streamline access to government and deliver programs in user-friendly ways," stated the December 1999 progress report from the Office of Government Online.

Halfway to the Government's deadline, this report found that only 82 per cent of government agencies were likely to meet the target.


Fewer than half of these departments actually permit public access to their databases, and 21 per cent allow citizens to complete secure transactions. Just two per cent of agencies share user information with other relevant departments to provide a whole-of-Government integrated service.

The Government Online 2000 forum will aim to address the issues that have stalled the rollout of value-added online services across government departments.

The national conference, from April 18-19 at the Hyatt, Canberra, will examine some of the key aspects agencies need to consider as they implement service delivery strategies.

The program will feature 27 progressive case studies from a diversity of agencies across the country, including Queensland's Department of Emergency Services, AusIndustry, National Archives of Australia, the Australian Privacy Foundation, Royal Adelaide Hospital and Centrelink.

To complement these practical examples, the conference includes sessions that will explore issues such as managing the legal risks of delivering services online and providing secure e-commerce.

Other sessions will look at developing knowledge portals to better administer the organisation's data, and maintaining communication between management and technical development teams to ensure implementations will address business requirements.

The forum sessions are interspersed with open discussions designed to give attendees and speakers time to discuss issues raised through the conference, and brainstorm solutions to problems.


The National Office for the Information Economy's chief general manager of Government Online, Tim Field, will deliver the keynote address on strategies that agencies can adopt to offer value-added services online. The theme of this session will follow that of the forum and of the Government Online project itself, namely how to provide customer-focused services.

Secretary for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts, Senator Ian Campbell, will present another keynote address at the event's official dinner, which will focus on the Federal Government's online service delivery initiatives beyond the 2001 target.

For more information on Government Online 2000 contact 02 9223 2600 or visit

Business Solution: