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Put Down That Phone: Canberra Sees $18bn Gain In Digi-Comms

Put Down That Phone: Canberra Sees $18bn Gain In Digi-Comms

The report, commissioned by the Government’s new Digital Transformation Office, claims a 20 per cent reduction in transactions made via traditional channels over a 10-year period could result in total savings of about $17.9 billion for government.

The cost of implementation, including effects on tax returns, passport registrations and benefits payments, would be $6.1 billion for new ICT and transitional arrangements, the report estimates.

Other key challenges identified by Adobe/Deloitte include policy bottlenecks and bureaucratic inertia; budget and capability constraints; digital exclusion and divide; lack of competition, privacy and security; and moving government staff to new roles.

The report notes that, of the estimated 800 million transactions with citizens at the federal and state levels each year, 40 percent are still completed using traditional channels, such as phone or in-person.

It claims a transition to what it calls “digital government” would bring an estimated net benefit of $20.5 billion, or approximately $880 in net benefits per Australian citizen or $2000 per household. (Er, any chance that, if we plebs agree to go digital, we could get the two-grand upfront, Malcolm? Ah, thought not – Ed.)

Going totally digital can have disadvantages, however. For instance, just to download a copy of the Adobe/Deloitte report, you need to fill out a form with a minimum 12 questions including details of your phone number, e-mail address and “how many employees in your organisation/department”. Officialdom still rules, it seems.