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E-government in Australia - statistics & facts

Within the past decade, Australia has positioned itself as one of the world leaders in terms of e-government development. This has been largely due to a period of rapid digital transformation and investment in the digitalization of government departments and services by the federal government in the mid-2010s. Subsequently, Australians are now able to lodge tax returns, apply for income support, and access their digital medical records online from home or via their smartphone. In turn, Australian government departments benefit from this investment by improving efficiency, reducing costs, and enhancing the accuracy of data collection and reporting compliance.

The Australian government’s digital transformation agenda began in 2014 with an audit of Australian ICT projects and the subsequent forming of the Digital Transformation Office in 2015, which was later renamed the Digital Transformation Agency (DTA). The DTA was further accompanied by an increase in Government spending on ICT projects and the agency was tasked with managing new and existing Government ICT projects including myGov, and developing digital government services that are; easy to deal with, informed by users, and fit for a digital age. These are the three strategic priorities of the Australian Government’s Digital Transformation Strategy.

Alongside the Digital Transformation Strategy and the development of new ICT projects, Australia’s e-government development has benefited from the earlier upgrade of the national copper wire telecommunications network. The National Broadband Network replaced much of Australia’s existing network with fiber internet connections and cost the Australian Government 51 Billion Australian dollars. By 2019 the NBN could be accessed at 10 million properties across Australia and even reached remote areas of Australia with satellite connections. Although internet speed still varied depending on the connection the NBN provided, the means for all Australians to connect online and engage with e-government services was established.

Perhaps the most well-known e-government development project in Australia is myGov, a platform that allows Australian residents and businesses to create an account and access government services online. The most commonly used services via myGov are Centrelink – for welfare and support payments, Medicare – for public health insurance claims, and the Australian Tax Office (ATO). In total, the cost of developing and implementing the myGov project came to 86.7 million Australian Dollars and new services continue to be added. Although the budget blew out by well over 10 million Australian dollars, the return on investment appears to be paying off with an estimated 33 million in red tape reduction savings for ATO users alone.

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E-government in Australia

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