Francis Maude, UK minister for the Cabinet Office, has branded Britain and New Zealand “world leaders” in the digitisation of the public sector, in an article written for the Guardian.
Maude credits both countries for pioneering digital portals, which give citizens access to vital services online.
The drive to go online has been a central message of both Britain and New Zealand’s home policy, with David Cameron claiming his government would be the “most transparent” in the world. In May 2010, the UK established the Government Digital Service (GDS) to drive a new “digital-by-default” agenda through Whitehall. In 2013, the New Zealand government launched a new ICT strategy and action plan focused on using technology to deliver better services.
The effects of this push for digital in the UK can be seen through GOV.UK, a modern and user-facing service, which hosts all 24 ministerial departments. The site has been a booming success, with user visits around double the level of the sites it replaced.
GOV.UK’s open source nature has meant other countries, including New Zealand, have been able to adopt its framework. In exchange, New Zealand, has shared details of studies to its UK counterparts, highlighting the benefits of the cross-pollination of ideas and research.
In the article Maude argues that the full promise of the new world has yet to be exploited by countries.
He said: “Working together we can reshape our public services, using our experience and resources to accelerate digital government across the world. Digital is not just another channel, it is the medium of choice for this generation.”
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