Curran fleshes out CTO priorities, announces Digital Service Design Standard

Curran fleshes out CTO priorities, announces Digital Service Design Standard

New Digital Service Design Standard will help ensure citizens can use government services "with confidence", Minister says

Clare Curran - Minister of Government Digital Services

Clare Curran - Minister of Government Digital Services

New Zealand's chief technology officer, when eventually selected, will be charged with providing independent and expert advice from a "whole of society perspective", not just a government or technologist perspective.

Broadcasting, communications and government digital services minister Clare Curran told the Government Information Systems Forum yesterday the new CTO will help consider the implications of technological change across a number of policy areas to help direct whole of Government approach to tackling future challenges.

"At a high level, the CTO will play a lead role in developing a digital strategy for New Zealand and will have a broad mandate to serve as a challenge to, and advisor for, the New Zealand Government," Curran said.

"You will be aware that we have gone back out to the market for this role. Shortlisting for the role has begun and there will be a decision soon."

The minister earlier this month said the role would be filled by the beginning of August after a stop-start recruitment process.

Curran also announced the Government had fast-tracked the development of the All-of-Government Digital Service Design Standard to assist the country to meet its D7 commitments as a leading digital nation.

"It is a template for agencies to design, develop and implement digital services and drive system-wide benefits," Curran said.

The standard will shape design thinking and put the citizen at the centre of trusted public services, she said. It will help ensure New Zealanders can use the services of government agencies with confidence.

"The digital world is here. It is here with every app we use and every time we look online for goods," Curran added. "Whenever New Zealanders go to engage with one of our agencies, we owe it to them to make the service accessible and inclusive.

"We now have a living Design Standard - a 21st century online model - where content is iterated, improved, and responsive."

In a broad-ranging speech, Curran reiterated the Government's tow major policy targets: closing digital divides by 2020 and making ICT the second largest contributor to GDP by 2025.

"But the measure of our achievement as a country must include social success and we shouldn’t be judged only on GDP," she said.

The latest quarterly GDP figure, to the end of March, was released yesterday. At 0.5 per cent growth the number is tracking downward from previous quarters, but was in line with market expectations.

Kiwibank economists said yesterday the Reserve Bank was unlikely to be too concerned with the GDP number.

"There was some temporary disruption to growth," the report read. "For instance, a drop in spending on new and used vehicles had a material impact on both retail trade and household consumption. The disruption was caused by the halt of car shipments following the discovery of stink bugs.

"The RBNZ will likely view March quarter GDP as being broadly in line with their view. The economy is growing around trend, but is still expected to perk-up and eventually require the OCR to be lifted. In our view we are at least a year off from seeing the bank hike interest rates."

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