Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Australians see change on government services

Australian providers of public services are starting to get the message that consumers need easy and accessible ways to use these services. The Access Card, which will replace 17 health and social services cards, is one response, with the AFR reporting that the first implementation tenders are due to be announced in the coming weeks. Also, I have it on good authority that the plan to enable you to use Medicare cards in EFTPOS machines will become a reality as soon as mid-2007. This means your Medicare claim gets credited directly to your account so you don’t need to go into a branch. Hopefully more public services will follow the digital path, especially given the increasing consumer demand. Computerworld reports that the percentage of users accessing government services via the Internet has risen from 39 percent in 2004-05 to 48 percent in 2006. The trick for governments will be to balance privacy concerns with the efficient provision of public services.

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