The e-Government programme and the e-Government Unit within the State Services Commission were formally established for four years on the 1st July, 2000. The role of the e-Government Unit, as agreed by Cabinet, embraces:
Strategy: Develop and manage the delivery of an overarching e-Government strategy, as well as supporting policies, standards and guidelines;
Leadership: Facilitate uptake by government agencies of the e-Government vision;
Coordination/collaboration: Identify opportunities for collaboration across government agencies; leverage existing information management and technology investment, and provide coordination
Policy: Provide e-Government policy advice to the Minister of State Services; and
Monitoring: Monitor progress toward achieving the e-Government vision.
The E-Government Unit has a central role in defining and achieving the Government's objectives for e-Government. The delivery of e-Government is the responsibility of all government agencies in partnership with the Unit.
Public Service departments and some other government organizations have nominated e-Government agency leaders who meet monthly. The role of the agency leader is to drive the implementation of e-Government in their organization.
Responsibilities include acting as a conduit for two way communication between their organization and the E-Government Unit, ensuring mandatory requirements from the programme are included into their organization's work plan and working within their organization to ensure that the approach to online service delivery is consistent with the policies and standards developed in the e-Government programme.
Two CIO (Chief Information Officer) networks support the managers who are accountable for the design and delivery of the technical and information management dimensions of e-Government. The CIO networks (one for policy departments and one for operational departments) typically focus on the implementation of the interoperability framework, technical standards and guidelines, and leveraging of government IT infrastructure. An e-procurement network concentrates on establishing a common approach for government to procurement, including syndicated procurement and e-procurement.
The E-Government programme consists of a number of projects. These range from policy development and implementation, development of standards and guidelines to delivery of solutions and applications. These are outlined below:
Authentication The authentication project is looking at ways of ensuring that government services delivered over the Internet are going to the right person. This will be achieved by electronically verifying that people are who they say they are, and that privacy is protected at all times.
Awareness of e-Government Activity This project is aimed at keeping central and local government people up to date with what is happening on electronic government projects. It one of several activities to ensure government agencies are ready for e-Government.
Electronic Billing and payments A strategy for a whole of government approach to electronic billing and payment systems is under development. This would enable government agencies to carry out financial transactions securely over the Internet, either between each other or with people and business.
Geospatial information Addresses, road and place names make up what is called geospatial information. This information can be shared over the Internet. Geospatial information is vital for a wide range of government functions. For example, it is necessary for running an election - registering people against the correct electoral district and Territorial Authority, or helping to achieve emergency services' responses, the management of civil defense emergencies, or underpinning land use decisions. The government is now looking to make sure that address, road and place name information used nationally is fit for these purposes, consistent, up to date, and readily accessible. When the New Zealand government portal website is launched in July 2002, geospatial information will be present behind the scenes allowing you to search for information relating to a specific geographical area, for example school zones or police stations.
Government Information Discovery (GUIDE) The government portal will be useful only if the information and services made accessible are described consistently. The GUIDE project is taking care of the way in which government information and services - online and offline - are described now and how those descriptions should be managed over time. These descriptions are called metadata. The reason government is not just describing online government information and services, is that it is useful for people to know where they need to go or who they need to call to carry out other government related tasks.
Government Portal This portal is a single website giving structured access to other websites, in this case, the websites of New Zealand government agencies. It is a convenient way of finding out about government information and services from one place, without having to understand how government is structured and therefore which sites you need to use. Portals are usually grouped by industry or sector type, for example, health, education, building industry. They are sometimes organized by types of services, for example registration and licensing, or purchasing. The New Zealand government portal will be a website providing search capability for, and links into the online and offline information and services of most government agencies
Government Services Online The vision for e-Government in New Zealand is that citizens will be able to find public information and services within government departments quickly and easily over the Internet.
Between August and November 2001 the Government Services Online project will identify the most useful services. These services will be made available through the portal website from June 2002.
Government web guidelines The primary goal of this e-Government project is to ensure government websites are accessible to the people using them.
People cannot be excluded from government services and information provided over the Internet because of disability or lack of reliable access to high-speed technology. The guidelines will detail how government websites should be built so that everyone can use them.
Internet Skills of Public Servants This project will encourage the adoption by government of training schemes to ensure public servants use the Internet in an efficient and productive way. It is one several activities to ensure that government agencies are ready for e-Government.
Interoperability Framework The business systems and processes supported by information technology (IT) that exist within each government agency will need to agree some common practices of making information available. Each government agency runs its own business and technology systems. The Interoperability Framework project will introduce an agreed, standardized system of decision-making processes about investment, development and management of IT resources. These standard processes will be used where agencies work together to provide information and services to the public.
Leveraging Infrastructure "Leveraging infrastructure", means using more effectively the government's existing technical capabilities throughout its central, regional and local agencies. Infrastructure includes staff, business processes, computer hardware and software.
The project has now analyzed the current infrastructure and has proposed a first draft of a technical architecture.
The work will be taken forward by the Interoperability Framework project.
National Information Infrastructure Protection (NIIP) NIIP seeks to improve the protection of New Zealand's critical infrastructure from cyber attacks. New Zealand people and business depend on the continuing supply of various services such as power, telecommunications and health care.
Critical infrastructure includes the wires, machines, and software needed to make this happen, such as power lines and telephone exchanges. NIIP seeks to bolster the protection of this critical infrastructure from cyber-threats such as computer misuse and hacking.
Procurement The government is looking at ways to smarten up how it buys goods and some services. It is doing this various ways, including syndicated procurement is where government agencies can collectively purchase goods and services such as electricity, fuel, motor vehicles and travel. This will result in savings from lower prices, improved terms and conditions and reduced costs of tendering. Syndicated procurement builds on the strategic sourcing approach being taken by leading government agencies. Strategic sourcing enables an agency to define and consolidate their requirements for all goods and services, understand the supply market, and negotiate with suppliers.
Secure Electronic Environment The Secure Electronic Environment project is developing solutions so public servants can securely work together over the Internet.
Shared Policy Workspace Often more than one government agency contributes to the development of a single policy. By implementing a shared policy workspace people from different government agencies in different locations will be able to use the Internet to work on policy documents to develop policy that cuts across several areas.