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Chief digital officer targets better connections between government and vendors

Faster, more agile and more integrated services are the target
Paul James (Department of Internal Affairs)

Paul James (Department of Internal Affairs)

Te Tari Taiwhenua the Department of Internal Affairs is changing its digital function to better support agencies to deliver faster, more agile, more accessible and more integrated digital services.

Government chief digital officer (GCDO) and the department’s chief executive Paul James said in a post yesterday the internal changes reflected the public sector’s changing digital landscape and needs. 

The changes will see a core permanent team established to focus the branch’s efforts and resources on key aspects of digital government and to connect and interact with agencies to identify digital needs across the state sector and to respond effectively.

“We are establishing a central team that can adjust and flex to meet future requirements, including being able to respond to emerging issues and opportunities,” said James.

“The digital landscape is a changing one, so we need to be able to move with it to stay ahead of the curve.”

Work was also underway in the branch to look at all-of-government procurement needs, which included working with agencies to fully understand how the branch can better connect public sector and vendor markets to drive efficiencies, standardisation, consolidation and innovation.

“We have a lead role on behalf of government to support a more connected, responsive and consistent digital public service, and we’re making some changes to help drive and deliver that," James said.

"This reflects our purpose to work with and through agencies to drive and deliver customer-centred digital government.”

The next few months will be about reorganising the branch roles and responsibilities, managing work-in-progress, and looking at the larger plan of delivering to government priorities and mandates as well as the newly-developed "Strategy for a Digital Public Service". 

The Department is also establishing a new digital leadership team, recruiting a new deputy chief executive and deputy government chief digital officer.

“Our plan is to work with agencies and other digital stakeholders in a more proactive and joined-up way to ensure they are well-supported to deliver integrated digital services to New Zealanders," James said.

“We want to build agency capability and culture to work together as an integrated digital system for New Zealanders. That’s our reason for being, and that’s where we’re focusing our efforts.”