Our eGovernment priorities will be taken forward through the delivery of 10 key actions, which are set out below.
We will keep our plans under review and add to or refine them over the 3 years that the Strategy is in place.
- We will develop a Digital Service Gateway
We recognise the clear requirement from our citizens and businesses to have a similar user experience in dealing with Government as they would have in dealing with the best of the retail and banking sectors. We will therefore ensure all of our Digital Government services are high quality, secure, reliable and easy to use, can be provided on a cross-government basis and are designed around a positive user experience. Achieving this requires a simple front-end that can present the services of most interest/relevance to citizens and businesses, can allow them to authenticate themselves through an identification process and then can use the information they have provided to save them the inconvenience of repeated re-keying in the future (this will not prevent them going directly to services that they are already familiar with). We will therefore develop a Digital Service Gateway, using appropriate consultation with the public and/or their representatives.
- We will maintain an overall Digital Programme plan overseen by our eGovernment Minister
We will continue to build upon the excellent progress made since the publication of the first eGovernment Strategy by increasing the scale of the service provision and developing a more cohesive, joined-up programme that clearly articulates our achievements, priorities and progress. We will identify common requirements in service provision, e.g. authentication and payments, build on existing initiatives, and ultimately seek to develop these on a write once use many basis.
- We will develop our existing e-ID capability
As stated above, we recognise the value of e-IDs as a means to protecting our people and our businesses against fraud; improving the overall user experience, avoiding the requirement for the public to provide the same information to Government numerous times; and helping Public Service fully align with Data Protection principles and legislation. The e-ID and the Digital Services Gateway will be the means for single sign-on/authentication and verification/update of general information (e.g. simple address information), using the “tell us once” principle. We appreciate that on-line identity remains an area of concern due to fears of on-line personation or identity theft. We believe that we already have an excellent approach to addressing these concerns and facilitating safe and robust citizen identification, whether face to face, by telephone or on-line. We will therefore maintain our efforts to increase the uptake of MyGovID and the Public Services Card through the SAFE II authentication model and, to that end, we have developed a roadmap for underpinning access to key public services with SAFE II authentication – see Annex B.
- We will develop similar plans to facilitate business and location identification
Becoming a data-driven government and providing better digital services whether nationally or across Europe is hugely dependent on holding reliable data on businesses and locations as well as people. We will therefore continue to encourage uptake of the Eircode and develop a model for Location and Business e-Identification. As well as citizens, businesses will be enabled to interact with Government to via the Digital Service Gateway, using an e-identification process to use relevant information already provided and avoid repeated re-keying in the future (this will not prevent them going directly to services that they are already familiar with).
- We will enhance our data-sharing capability
We are doing this by working with key stakeholders to develop the concept of a National Data Infrastructure, i.e. a set of principles, standards, codes, policies, systems and infrastructures overseen by an appropriate governance model designed to standardise the collection, processing, classification, storage, transmission of and access to key Government data assets.
- We will introduce legislation to support our data-sharing ambitions
We intend to take a Data-Sharing and Governance Bill through legislation to provide for the regulation of Data-Sharing between Public Service Bodies and ensure applicable safeguards and conditions (including governance).
- We will continue to develop our Open Data portal
We fully recognise the benefits of sharing our data with outside stakeholders where appropriate and were proud to note the formal recognition of our efforts earlier this year when Ireland was ranked in the top 3 in Europe for Open Data maturity. We will continue to engage with key stakeholders on strategic direction and increase the quantity and quality of the material we make available.
- We will transform our “back office”
We will simplify our processes and back-office infrastructure to facilitate better, more cohesive and more cost effective delivery of Government services.
- We will ensure appropriate governance is in place
This eGovernment Strategy will only achieve its ambitions if appropriate governance is in place to ensure that our data is managed securely, our services are joined-up appropriately and we do maximise the efficacy of our investments through sound stewardship of projects and avoidance of duplication.
- We will ensure our people have the skills and capabilities to help us move forward
We recognise the need to have people with the confidence to challenge how we currently do things and the capability to help facilitate appropriate interventions and transformations. We will do this by training the ICT staff who will deliver the technology and the business people who will be providing the digital-led services.