Tuesday, 29 September 2020

Ceisteanna (140)

Denis Naughten


140. Deputy Denis Naughten asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform his plans to move Government services online; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26656/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Public)

Through the Public Service ICT Strategy, the eGovernment Strategy and the Public Service Data Strategy, Government has set out its ambition to accelerate the delivery of digital public services. These strategies outline Government plans to deploy digital technologies and shared approaches for more efficient, effective, and joined-up services for citizens and businesses.

COVID-19 has had a significant impact on all aspects of life in Ireland, and Government has had to react, adapt and seek alternative means of engaging with citizens and businesses in the delivery of public services. In addition, there has been a significant increase in demand placed on public services during this challenging time.

Digital Public Services such as the COVID-19 app, the Temporary Wage Subsidy scheme, the Pandemic Unemployment payment and many others have seen very significant demand. It is clear that the capability to provide Public Services digitally is more important now than ever before when responding and adapting to the volatile situation and the related needs of citizens and businesses.

While there has been much progress in recent times across a wide variety of sectors, there continues to be opportunities to leverage digital to streamline and automate our back-end processes. Digital can be used to join up Government and reduce the burden on people and businesses accessing public services. Importantly, digital can allow us to free up resources to deliver all services in a more impactful way in line with our citizen’s expectations

The Digital Leaders Group , established in late 2019 is driving and overseeing activities to raise the profile and priority of digital, digital services and digital transformation in the Public Service.

While COVID-19 has had a significant impact on plans for digital initiatives in 2020, Departments will continue to prioritise digital projects, including

- the adoption of the Digital Postbox service;

- the drive to consolidate and simplify access to Government services through gov.ie;

- the first phase release of a citizen health portal; and

- the digitisation of the electoral register.

We will also continue to engage the public to help shape the future digital policies and priorities for Government, including the expansion of the use of Government digital infrastructure outside of the context of Government.

Question No. 141 answered with Question No. 124.