Integrated Services in the Public Sector
There is an increased effort to connect and automate services in New Zealand, with the aim of making it easier for citizens to access government services. Advancements in technology now allow information relating to the same life event to be integrated from different agencies into one platform. This ensures that citizens do not have to continually submit the same information whenever they require certain services. It also provides an opportunity for organisations in the public sector to collaborate.
A great example of integrating services is SmartStart. This is a mobile site that offers useful step-by-step information for expectant parents and connects them with relevant services.
Other initiatives are on course and will help transform the public sector for the better. The government has been engaging citizens through independent processes in order to uncover insights about their experience with various services. Such activities can identify problems and the possible solutions. For example, many citizens claimed that they would like to be invited for assessments for rebates based on information held by the government rather than receiving the rebate automatically.
The Integrated Services programme will seek to prioritise issues that affect a significant number of citizens, measured through the volume of transactions involved. The program also aims to offer a large number of citizens with digital tools that will enable them to access a wider range of government services. Concepts being explored include digital identity, which will allow people to undertake online activities easily rather than engage in the manual completion of activities. An effective digital identity platform in New Zealand will securely enable citizens to show their entitlements to services while at the same time consolidating information more efficiently. It is hoped that integrated services will become standard for designing services in the future.