Wednesday, October 01, 2008

One (government) portal to rule them all...

Uganda has become the latest nation to announce that it is following a centralised government portal strategy, launching a statewide web portal managed by their Ministry of ICT.

This reflects the approach taken in many other nations, including Australia ( and to provide a central face to government online, to a greater or lessor degree.

Given the enthusiasm for this approach in the virtual world, are we likely to see a similar approach to government shopfronts, phone and paper-based transactions reflected at federal level over time?

We've certainly seen some state-based jurisdictions move to single shopfronts - at least in smaller jurisdictions.

However if this isn't the strategy in these channels, what is the rationale for providing different messages in different mediums?

Doesn't it weaken the argument for citizens to not need to know which agency they are dealing with?
  • A single central port of call online
  • Department/Agency-based offices and paper correspondence
  • Service-based phone numbers

What's your view?


  1. Most governments portals are still operating as 'way-finders' ie you still get referred to the relevant agency to obtain the service. However, assuming transactions will gradually move closer to the customer and be delivered directly either via a portal or via 'any agency', it is inevitable that the offline channels will have to follow. Unfortunately most public sector organisations are still struggling with how to align their channels within the organisational boundary, never mind an all-of-govt approach so I think it will be a while away.

  2. And involve changes to the culture of the public service...

    The culture change will be a major challenge in turning the ship around.