The current government in New Zealand is rethinking how to deliver public services, and where new technology can make a difference:
“Technology will replace face-to-face contact as the Government continues its squeeze on the public service.
Prime Minister John Key has met executives from internet giant Google as plans to shake up the public sector gather steam.
Virtual jobs will replace staff as the sector moves away from frontline services to call centres and online interaction.
Mr Key said yesterday that people wanted to use their smartphones to apply for passports and other tasks, rather than wait in line in offices.
“It really doesn’t matter if there is a street frontage there … We are living in an age where kids have iPads and smartphones. That’s the modern generation … and they actually don’t want to walk in, for the most part, and be in a very long queue and be waiting for a long time.”
He foreshadowed more mergers and job losses, as the Government continues its quest to slash $1 billion from the state sector. More than 2500 public service jobs have been cut in the past three years.
Mr Key will outline proposals in a keynote speech later this month. He would “make no apology” for trying to make the public service more efficient.“
Bravo! Where people are needed to deliver services, let them do so. Where new technological approaches are possible that streamline the delivery of public services, we should make a move. Continuing with inefficient processes with their roots in 20 year old thinking is not good.