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Digital transformation

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Today, a lot of things that could only previously be done by filling in a paper form, or visiting a government office, can now be done online. A lot of people find that this makes their work with government simpler, faster, and cheaper. And every day, the government is building technology to let people do even more digitally.

As more and more government services become available online, what is needed to make sure that they work together efficiently, all meet the standards the community expects, and are simple to use? What type of online tools for openness and accountability should government prioritise for development?

Building Australia’s digital infrastructure

The growth in what people can do online makes things more convenient. But it can also create new confusion. For one, people need to learn how to deal with many different websites, which often look different and work in different ways. As the Australian Government brings more and more government services online in the future, it makes sense to make a plan now for how they can all work together efficiently.

Some ideas about what government could do include:

  • making a plan to stem and reverse the growth in government websites, so people can more easily find what they need and do more with the websites they already know
  • making sure all government agencies meet the same high standards in the way they use, protect, share and release the data they hold, and
  • making it easier for people to digitally prove their identity to government.

Improving access to justice

All sorts of government services are now available online. But for the Open Government Partnership, using technology to enhance people’s access to justice – including making it simpler to find and make sense of our laws, and cheaper and easier to resolve disputes through our courts and tribunals – is especially relevant. What can government through the OGP do to help?

Further reading

Discussion questions

  • Is this theme relevant both to Australia’s situation and the Open Government Partnership?
  • Are the ideas effective, relevant, and ambitious?
  • Are there other ideas related to this theme that government should consider?


To participate, you’ll need to register for an account. You’ll then be able to respond to the questions under each of the proposed themes, leave a general comment or respond to those of other participants, and vote on comments.

We expect your comments to be respectful and relevant. As comments are moderated, they won’t appear until they’ve been approved. Comments will close 30 March.

If you wish to make a longer submission, you can email us at ogp@pmc.gov.au. We’ll publish all submissions we receive.

The outputs from this and the face-to-face consultations will be made available to the Open Government Forum. At its meeting in April, the Forum will be asked to assess those ideas with substantial support, and make recommendations to government on prospective themes and commitments. When government releases its draft National Action Plan for public comments in June, it will also provide a response to ideas.

Open Government...

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Open Government...

The Canberra consultations were held on 14 March and were attended by 11 participants from both civil society and government. Key ideas that emerged from discussions relating to digital transformation included:

  • support for all of the ideas contained in the discussion starter, noting that the objective of stemming the growth in government websites is to simplify access for users, and this should be done in collaboration with state and territory governments
  • the importance of ensuring all Australians have the physical access to computers and digital literacy to use them effectively
  • the desirability of ensuring that electronic algorithms employed by businesses and government in decision-making be transparent, so people can understand and assess how their personal data is being used
  • the need for a consumer data right that ensures consumers have access to their banking and other transactional and personal information, and are able to move it between providers

digital transformation

digital transformation

Participants in the these consultations also wanted Open Government National Action Plan ideas from other countries and unprogressed ideas from consultations for the first National Action Plan published. These include:

Open data interoperability (Canada, US)

Ensure data collected by different levels of government is standardised and interoperable.

Open Government one-stop shops (NAP1)

Develop centralised digital platforms / registers for:

  • freedom of information requests across the Australian Government
  • research undertaken by the Australian Government
  • Strategic Community Plans of local governments, and
  • source code for software developed by the Australian Government.

A fuller list of these ideas can be found in the papers for item 6 for the meeting of the Open Government Forum of 7 December.

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Open Government...

The Perth consultations were held on 16 March and were attended by 9 participants from civil society. Key ideas that emerged from discussions relating to digital transformation included:

  • the importance of ensuring that disadvantaged and marginalised communities have the access to technology, and the digital literacy, to fully access government services that are made available online
  • the importance of maintaining human understanding and review of any automated decision-making
  • restrictions on software end user license agreements to ensure minimum protections for users
  • greater protections for privacy online and online user-tracking
  • the de-identification of datasets held by government and the right of citizens to interact with government with minimal identification
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