Australian government agencies are working on a single sign-on approach to deliver e-government services, according to a newly released e-government strategy.
Special Minister of State, Gary Nairn, today released a paper titled 'Responsive Government - A New Service Agenda', which details how e-government services will be improved between now and 2010. The last e-government strategy document was issued in 2002.
E-government delivery had at times been "ad hoc" and "uncoordinated", Nairn said in the report.
However, the new strategy introduces a number of new initiatives to make online government services simpler for citizens.
Chief among these is the development of a single framework whereby individuals need only log in once to a government Web site to access e-government services provided by a range of agencies.
"Authentication and personal or business information will need to be provided only once through a simplified government sign-on, to access government information and services and for ongoing interactions, transactions and updates," the report said.
"It will be possible to group diverse transactions and complete them at the same time, without navigating the underlying structure and complexity of government.
"People will be able to interact with many areas of government without needing to understand exactly which agencies deliver which services."
The government would provide individual, personalised accounts to users via its australia.gov.au entry point, according to the document. This project was scheduled for completion in 2008-2010.
Australia.gov.au would be the main entry point for all government services. Many government Web sites would be reviewed and consolidated to achieve this streamlined approach, according to the report.
The approach was designed to eliminate the need for users to understand government structures to access services. The unified face of e-government would extend to non-government entities that deliver government services, the report said.
Government employees would also be involved in the redesign.
A separate identity management framework would be developed for public sector staff, and their contractors, for online account access.
At a more technical level, the government would look to standardise online platforms and systems, and share these across agencies where possible.
This would see more agencies working together and sharing data, according to the report.
"With collaboration will come responsibilities for agencies, such as vigilance in terms of data quality and the ongoing observance of agreed standards."
The report said some of the types of systems that could be integrated across agencies and shared were in: identity management, registration, reporting and accountability, information and content management, and payments.
A technology blueprint, due by 2008, would detail the technologies and business processes to be built for standard communications, as well as the standards to be met for the support of those technologies.