The REACH agency is a cross-departmental agency established by the Government to implement a programme for the electronic delivery of integrated public services to citizens. The programme involves the development of a Public Services Broker which would act as the common gateway to public services and would provide common services such as identity validation, storing and sharing of data and secure environment for electronic Government services.
REACH and the Public Service Broker are about providing the best possible service to customers, allowing them to conduct their dealings with the public service in the ways that best suit their needs. This will allow improvements in service through the traditional channels of contacts in local office and over the telephone as well as making services available through the new electronic channels.
The REACH programme is a major undertaking that will take a number of years to develop fully and that will involve nearly all public service agencies. It is expected that new information provision elements of the system will start to appear by the end of the year. The overall project is currently at design stage and consultation is under way with various parties involved.
My own Department has an essential role in the REACH initiative.
My Department is responsible for allocating and managing the personal public services number which is a key enabler for the integration of public services across the different delivery agencies.