Digital services held back by security concerns

NSW report reinforces need to secure services and manage privacy

Securing digital services

Securing digital services

A recent report into digital services for NSW has flagged concerns around security and privacy. These concerns are highlighted in a digital government survey released by the NSW government.

Among the feedback, citizens say they are comfortable with access to digital services. But there are reservations around being able to secure online and mobile channels.

This survey received 1,853 responses. Overall, respondents weighed in behind digital services. These services make it easier to transact with government, improve access to different demographics, and enable people to have a say in policy.

But long-term success lies in fully securing digital channels. Participants are hesitant about engaging more fully in an online environment. They highlight the risks and challenges around open government.

These risks involve an unlawful access or misuse of data and information. Protecting personal or sensitive information needs closer scrutiny.

The broader consensus is to leverage big data and share information across the three tiers of government. This integration can be clarified through gateways like the Commonwealth's My Gov web site.

Box under someone's desk?

On the technology front, respondents seek solutions around legacy systems. It is important that systems aren't being “run off a box under someone's desk. Make sure the system Bob designed in the 90s can be updated when he retires,” says one participant.

Open government is “more than a slogan.” Politicians are advised to make real-time, online disclosures involving funding or gifts. More clarity is sought around meetings or expenses being claimed.

There are suggestions to remove the “long life of panels” that restrict on-boarding the new, more innovative vendors. Procurement plans may consider engaging suppliers around non-traditional vendor contracts. A mobile app is proposed for NSW eTendering the online procurement channel.

More details are available at the NSW government’s finance web site.

Follow Shahida Sweeney on Twitter: @ShahidaSweeney

Tags NSW Governmentsecuritydigital governmentprocurementmobileinternetprivacy

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