news NSW Opposition Leader Barry O’Farrell (pictured right) today promised his Liberal Party would invest in technology solutions to solve state government service delivery issues if it was elected to power in the next election.
“I’m a believer in the power of IT improving the relationship between government and people — I’ve had a website since 1998 and these days I’m an active Tweeter,” O’Farrell wrote on Microsoft Australia’s Government Affairs blog.
“However, the NSW Labor Government after 14 years in power just doesn’t get it.”
The NSW Government under Labor has embarked on numerous initiatives over the past five years to improve its use of technology — creating a whole of government chief information officer position, centralising technology procurement and even creating a shared services agency, ServiceFirst, to consolidate some aspects of service delivery.
However, it has come under criticism for its handling of several high-profile technology projects, such as the failed Tcard smartcard public transport revamp and the use of electronic health records in hospitals and other medical institutions.
O’Farrell said there was a great misconception that IT was simply a way to replicate offline transactions online more efficiently and at a cheaper cost.
“However, it’s actually an opportunity to rethink how we transact in the first place,” he wrote, giving examples of residents being able to renew public transport tickets online, more accurate patient care through e-health solutions and being able to renew a fishing licence on the same site as your driver’s licence.
“A future NSW Liberal & Nationals Government is energised to embrace technology,” he concluded.