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‘Digital by default’: SA government makes online declaration

The South Australian public service will transition to being “digital by default”, Premier Jay Weatherill said earlier this week.

“A modern public service should be paper free,” Weatherill (pictured) told an event hosted by the Australian Information Industry Association on Tuesday.

According to the digital by default declaration signed by the Premier at the event, this will see services designed to be usable via the internet and smartphones, to meet accessibility requirements, and where appropriate will allow data to be made openly available as part of the government’s open data program. Public sector organisations will be expected to ensure their workforces are skilled in the use of digital technology.

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Weatherill told the gathering that “in recent times, we have appeared static, caught in the clutches of a conservative aversion to risk. Now is the time to break free.

“This declaration commits the government to proactively transforming its services, using digital technology.

“Government services will be digital by default. They will be designed so that people in the community will be able to access and use the services more easily. South Australians should be able to access these government services when and where they want.”

Weatherill added the government will work with the AIIA to deliver a “Digital Landscape” report by the end of March 2015, “to identify the capacity and capability of South Australia to help transform government services”.

The government will maintain a “digital report card” to measure progress on its digital by default program.

There will be provisions for those unable to leave paper behind. “The government also recognises that not everyone can equally access digital services,” said Public Sector Minister Susan Close.

“Even as we make the shift to Digital by Default, consideration will always be given to the particular needs of those who aren’t able to benefit from the latest digital technology.”

Author Bio

David Donaldson

David Donaldson is a journalist at The Mandarin based in Melbourne.