Queensland government to go digital first

The Queensland government has unveiled its strategy and action plan to move more government services online.

In the third tier of its technology strategy, the Queensland government has today unveiled its GoDigitalQld strategy and action plan for using digital technology.

The strategy (PDF), released by IT minister Ian Walker today, outlines how the government will develop the state's digital economy through the increasing availability of online services and open data through red tape reduction.

The government will adopt a digital-first approach for service delivery, with information and services from the government provided on a 24-hour, 7 day a week basis. This will, in part, come through the already-announced One-Stop Shop that will have around 100 new services available online at the end of this year.

Queensland will also encourage non-government organisations in the state to improve their digital services, and the government will look to get more Queenslanders online and using digital services such as e-health services. The document also proposes that public libraries and the State Library of Queensland would become "hubs of digital economic activity".

A digital business collaboration group will be set up under the plan to allow Queensland businesses to share plans and resources, and the government will enable more small and medium businesses in the state to tender online for government business.

The Queensland government will also work with local councils and non-government organisations to promote flexible work centres to cut down on travel between towns in the state and improve productivity.

By June 2015, Queensland is set to develop a Digital Government Framework, and undertake a digital maturity benchmarking audit. At the end of next year, the government will undertake trials in digital collaboration platforms.

Queensland is also looking at the broadband needs that will underpin the digital action plan, with the government assessing broadband and mobile coverage gaps in Queensland by October 2015, and planning to "leverage Queensland Government telecommunication assets" to optimise investment in telecommunications in the state. The government has also flagged that Royalties for Regions funding could be allocated to investing in telecommunications blackspots by June 2015.

There will be a trial of flexible work centres for Queensland government staff based in the Brisbane CBD in April 2015, the action plan states, and the government is working to implement the National Schools Curriculum technology stream into Queensland schools.

The state would also like to attract digital start-ups to Queensland, and has said it will lobby the federal government for a "revision of legal and taxation regimes to be start-up and high-tech venture friendly".

The plan announced today is part of the government's overall ICT strategy announced last year. Late last month, the Queensland government unveiled its Cloud Computing Strategy that will see the establishment of a whole-of-government federated identity broker for the use of cloud services in government.

According to policy announced before the election , the federal government also plans to go digital first, however much of the funding that would have been required for the implementation of the policy was not part of this year's budget . The government last month denied that it had been stalled, however, stating that the Department of Communications and the Department of Finance are currently in the process of developing implementation options.