Government agencies around Australia are standing up to support the campaign to end violence against women today for White Ribbon Day.
ALL THINGS P: The federal government wants to know which open data would be most useful to business, researc
We recently moved our readers to a new system. You may need to reset your password here to login.
Not a member ? Join here for free.
Forgot your password?
Home Features Tale of two countries: the digital disruption of government
Text size :
TAGS Digital, digital engagement, digital transition, e-government, information technology
Britain got serious about genuine technology integration in government. The Australian public sector is a long way behind. What’s needed is real, wholesale digital disruption.
Our recent paper — A Tale of Two Countries: the Digital Disruption of Government — considers two parliamentary-system governments, the United Kingdom and Australia, and their efforts to use technology as a lever of reform and modernisation of public services since the 1990s.
There are essential lessons to be learned from their work and that of other governments: despite the billions of pounds/dollars that have been spent over recent decades, government services have witnessed little of the scale and depth of improvement experienced by the best private digital organisations. The question is — why?
Researchers at the Manchester Centre for Development Informatics reported that an estimated US$3 trillion was spent around the world during the first decade of the 21st century on government information systems. Yet 60-80% of these projects failed in some way, leading to “a massive wastage of financial, human and political resources, and an inability to deliver the potential benefits of e-government to its beneficiaries”.
While household brands have seen technology completely redefine business — with the likes of Kodak and Blockbuster overtaken by entirely new market entrants — the digital age seems largely to have bypassed government. Technology has all too often been used merely to automate existing services and transactions, effectively fossilising them and all their pre-internet inefficiencies at a moment in time. Almost 20 years of online and e-government strategies have failed to deliver the anticipated service transformation centred on citizens’ needs.
Receive unlimited access, get all the latest public sector news and features, plus The Juice, our daily news update sent direct to your inbox.
The Mandarin is where Australia's public sector leaders discuss their work and the issues faced within modern bureaucracy. Join today to discover the latest in public administration thinking and news from our dedicated reporters, current and former agency heads and senior executives.
Dr Jerry Fishenden is an independent technology advisor, including to the UK government, and a senior research fellow at Bath Spa University. Marie Johnson is the Managing Director and chief digital officer at the Centre for Digital Business.
Read Related Content