Quote of the week
“Our public sector will need to find and create new opportunities for new ways of working together to achieve the results…”
— Government of New Zealand
The government of New Zealand, and the State Services Commission in particular, is focused on improving services to citizens. Some of the goals are familiar: better public services and the creation of an all-of-government brand.
What’s interesting is that the government is actually willing to report openly on its progress.
Regarding better public services, the government has 10 priority results areas, along with targets. Two of them relate to what is called “improving interaction with government.” Result 9 involves the creation of one-stop online shopping for businesses dealing with government. Result 10 has as its goal that citizens can interact with government easily “in a digital environment.”
Regarding Result 9, measureable targets are set. For example, business costs with government will go down by 25 percent by 2017.
In reporting on progress, like all governments this one has to brag about its initiatives, along with the obligatory acronyms. Examples include setting up a New Zealand Business Number (NZBN), an online intellectual property management system (IPONZ) and secure online filing of tax returns (myIR).
But it also notes that, taking a baseline from 2012, 2013 had no real improvement vis-a-vis the cost of dealing with government.
Regarding Result 10, there is one key target: New Zealanders will be able to do 70% of their transactions online by 2017. And here we are given real data: from April-June 2014, 39.3% of New Zealanders interacted with government using technology, a slight increase of a year ago.
It’s good to see a government set real targets, and to actually measure itself against them in an open and transparent way. One more step toward the goal of open government…honestly.