NZ Government: Technology can deliver for less money and better results

Prime Minister John Key is citing Air New Zealand check-in times as a model for the public service to follow as the Government pursues smart phone and other technological advances to replace over the counter contact.

But he conceded that it would require a huge investment by the Government. He confirmed previous reports that an IRD upgrade alone was expected to cost $1 billion plus.

“I think we’ve got a very good public service but we can’t stand in the way of technology…and nor can we stand in the way of some of the advantages of having shared services,” Key said.

“I have it in some of my ministries I’m looking after and I’m convinced I can deliver for less money, better results.”

Interesting that the NZ government is looking at examples of technology-enabled service innovation in the private sector. But I’d be a little nervous of government adopting Web-era service models without the appropriate Web-development mindset. Even getting a standard Website up and running can be a challenge for government.

The UK government is a better example of this, with their alpha and beta whole-of-government Website pilots – but those aren’t particularly cheap, but should eventually prove a better return on investment for tax payers.