23 March 2011: Greater digital coordination across all key Government departments such as Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, Enterprise and Innovation and Finance could deliver major cost savings for the State, according to Maeve Kneafsey, MD of Elucidate.
Commenting at the Ireland eGovernment Awards run in association with eircom and held today in Dublin Castle Ms. Kneafsey said, "All of us who work in the digital economy are looking forward to the long awaited appointment of the Government internet CIO, one of whose tasks will be to eradicate any ‘silo mentality’ within various departments and deliver much more cross-department eGovernment. The aim being to make sure that, digitally speaking, for example, the Dept of Enterprise and Innovation is in direct, online, contact with the Dept. of Finance.
"This could mean, for the first time, that the right hand of government will know what the left hand is doing.
"The implications for cost savings are huge if this can tackle a whole series of co-ordinated tasks such as the granting of a planning permission and the payment of insulation grants, or cracking down on the issuance of various types of licenses to people who may also owe the State taxes."
This year’s overall winners of the Ireland eGovernment Award, run in association with eircom, were the Courts Service & An Garda Síochána for the Criminal Justice Interoperability Programme that co-ordinates the information.
This is a clear example of two divisions of government working together delivering major productivity gains and delivering better results in the area of justice for the public.
The Ireland eGovernment Awards are run in association with eircom and co-promoted by eGovernment specialists Elucidate (www.elucidate.ie) and the Public Sector Times, the leading public sector publication.
Ms. Kneafsey added, "Today’s Ireland eGovernment Award winners showcase the tremendous strides being taken by those in the Public Sector to push ahead, sometimes in the face of the obvious financial obstacles, to get innovative services delivered.
"Each year I see example after example of services that, when delivered, one would wonder how we lived without them online. Some of today’s winners, including the overall winner, deliver services behind the scenes, but these services, probably unbeknownst to us, make our lives much better.
"I would in particular like to congratulate our Overall Winner – the Courts Service & Garda Síochána, as their winning entry demonstrates how enormous advances in sharing information from one state organisation to another electronically, can speed up and provide better information in a situation where literally, someone’s life is on hold."
Alex Campbell, Sales Director, Government & Major Accounts, eircom said "eircom is delighted to continue its involvement with the e-Government awards. This year the entrants, as ever, demonstrated a continued focus on delivering improved services to consumers and leveraging technology in increasingly innovative ways to either drive efficiency or to increase service to the end user.
Highlighting Ireland’s strong progress in this area, the recent European Commission eGovernment Benchmarking exercise, "Digitising Public Services in Europe: Putting ambition into action" shows that Ireland is now ranked 1st in Europe for the provision and sophistication of online services to businesses and consumers, for the provision of eProcurement services, and for the integration of services as "life events".