Thursday, July 24, 2008

ATO showcase - government innovation on display

Yesterday I attended the ATO showcase - a day-long event demonstrating some of the ATO's vision for the future for enabling technologies across customer service, information management, collaboration and personalisation.

As part of the day, ATO employees demonstrated a series of working prototypes from business intelligence dashboard through facebook-style intranet applications to virtual customer service agents.

It was a fantastic opportunity to look inside another public sector organisation at how they are using tools available today to generate business value and improve outcomes for customers and for the agency for the future.

I hope it will not be the last such event.

The day also included a number of exceptional talks and panels by leaders from the private sector which ranged across the opportunities and challenges involved in digitalising public sector organisations.

Unfortunately I was only able to attend the morning and lunch-time sessions, however brought away three key ideas for further exploration within my own agency.

I had a lot of takeaways from the day, including:
  • We're moving into a 'Participation Age' - younger people see and use PC desktops and browsers as a gateway to connecting and networking with other people

  • Sometimes we focus too much on the technology, instead the focus should be on citizen benefits; creating value and generating better outcomes

  • Significant reform needs to occur in government legislation, policy and agency operations to support participation

  • Government needs a clear mandate on how it may collect and use information in order to improve services to individuals

  • An aging population will make it necessary to use online tools to deliver services which are otherwise not cost-effective

  • Government should not duplicate services that are provided by the market, but should tap into them

  • eGovernment requires reassessment - presently it is government's view of how to interact with citizens, not citizens' views on how they wish to interact with government

  • The end goal should be more effective service provision - which doesn't necessarily mean more efficient service provision.

  • At times government tends to overanalyse - the best way forward is to get started and evolve services over time
More of my notes were recorded via Twitter during the event.

Much food for thought.

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