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Governments coming together to accelerate digital services

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The Hon Scott Morrison MP PRIME MINISTER



14 September 2018

Governments coming together to accelerate digital services

Commonwealth, State and Territory governments are today expected to reach an historic agreement to work collaboratively to accelerate the development of faster and simpler digital services to help improve the lives of all Australians.

Ministers will gather in Sydney this morning at the inaugural meeting of the Australian Digital Council, which will also focus on improving data sharing between governments to boost economic growth and drive innovation, while also helping to inform better decision-making.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison will open the Council meeting and highlight the importance of the Federation coming together to drive results in the critical areas of data and digital transformation.

“It’s exciting to see our Federation in action with the Commonwealth, States and Territories all agreeing to put our political differences aside and work together to improve the lives of those that we represent,” Mr Morrison said.

“Through greater collaboration, we can simplify services, cut red tape and reduce the compliance burden on small and medium sized businesses when interacting with governments.”

The meeting will be chaired by Human Services and Digital Transformation Minister Michael Keenan, who said collaboration could also help governments to significantly reduce the cost of delivering better services.

“The digital revolution the world is currently undergoing presents governments with enormous opportunities to significantly improve the services we deliver, ensuring they’re fit for purpose, simple, convenient and cost effective,” Mr Keenan said.

“Until now though, jurisdictions have been going it alone on digital projects, or keeping their data under lock and key.”

“By committing to a strong agenda of collaboration and cooperation, we can learn from each other’s experiences and pool our resources to develop systems that can be rolled-out across the country, avoiding costly duplication and accelerating the benefits for citizens and business.”

For example, several states are currently working on digital driver licence applications, which are at various stages of development. Working together on projects like this in the future could present tremendous opportunities to pool expertise and resources, helping to fast track those projects, reduce development costs and deliver a more consistent experience for people across the country.

Similarly, the Federal Government is already developing a digital identity solution to enable users to easily and securely access an increasing number of online services.

State and Territory governments will be able to adopt this system, or, in turn, have their own versions accredited for use with federal agencies.

Council members are also expected to agree today to move forward with a major data-sharing initiative that will provide greater insight into the longitudinal outcomes for children who spend time in out-of-home care.

State and Territory governments hold vast amounts of data about individuals who have spent time in care, but have limited visibility about their employment outcomes after they turn 18.

Data held by the Federal Government relating to job seeker payments can be overlaid with the State data to provide significant insights into the lives of these individuals.

Those insights can then be used to shape effective policy settings that enable earlier intervention and more targeted service delivery to deliver better outcomes.

Ministers have already agreed to undertake similar research into the barriers that inhibit people with disabilities from accessing government services.

To facilitate improved data sharing, the Federal Government is drafting a new Data Sharing and Release Act that will make further collaborations easier in the future.

States and Territories will be able to opt-in to that system, or use it as a template to develop their own complementary legislation.

The following Ministers attended the first meeting of the Council:

 The Hon Michael Keenan MP, Minister for Human Services and Digital Transformation and Chair of the Australian Digital Council;  The Hon Victor Michael Dominello MP, NSW Minister for Finance, Services and Property;  The Hon Gavin Jennings MP, VIC Special Minister for State and Leader of Government

in the Legislative Council;  The Hon Michael de Brenni MP, QLD Minister for Digital Technology;  The Hon Dave Kelly MP, WA Minister for Innovation and ICT;  The Hon David Pisoni MP, SA Minister for Industry and Skills;  The Hon Michael Ferguson MP, TAS Minister for Science and Technology;  The Hon Mick Gentleman MP, ACT Minister Assisting the Chief Minister on Advanced

Technology and Space Industries  The Hon Lauren Moss MP, NT Minister for Corporate and Information Services.

The next Australian Digital Council meeting will be held in early 2019.

Media contacts:

Grant Taylor - 0411 406 778, Austin Wenke - 0447 027 110