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At Lab+ we are experimenting with a new model for government services. It's based on the idea of government information, transaction services and business rules/regulation being available as APIs/code. This would enable citizen needs to be served through a diverse ecosystem of public and private sector service providers. In short, 'government as a platform'. This is not to be mistaken with common government services or platforms, but rather the original idea adopted by Tim O'Reilly almost a decade ago, of government systems being mashable for the purpose of better public services through diverse and competitive service providers. Please see our work plan for more context and background to this work happening under the auspice of the Service Innovation agenda in the Department of Internal Affairs (DIA), known as Lab+.

We need to talk to you

To design such an approach, we need to work with service providers in government, the private sector, community sector and beyond. If you are interested in developing services, products, insights or other value on the back of government, we need you! We want to collect your user needs as it were, for designing an ideal 'government as a platform' approach that both helps agencies deliver their own services better, but also opens up the opportunities for you. Some things we'd like to explore would include:

  • Is this model needed or desirable?
  • Functionally, what do you need from government to build great services for citizens (e.g., open data, service registers, API enabled transaction services, programmable business rules, authentication/authorisation, etc)?
  • What would make it easier for you to innovate on the back of government?
  • How much would you like or not like to engage with government? Would you prefer for instance to be able to autonomously build on top of open APIs and only have to engage in trust frameworks for higher trust/secure APIs?
  • What would you like prioritised, immediate things that you could use and build upon for the benefit of New Zealanders and the New Zealand economy.

Please note that there have been some tangential discussions that have touched on this subject in the past, and we are collecting together what we can. Please leave a comment below to link to any existing papers, blog posts, events or other contributions to this idea so we can add them to our user research. We will share everything we can on our blog.

We would like as coverage as possible, so please only send one or two reps from your organisation or group!

Please RSVP through EventBrite for the workshop.

And don't forget the Service Innovation Open Lab MeetUp every Friday from 4–5 pm at the Todd Building, 95 Customhouse Quay.


Lab+ is housed in the Service Innovation Lab, which is an experiment carried out under the leadership of the ICT Partnership Framework’s Service Innovation Group. It's managed by the Service Innovation Team in Department of Internal Affairs in partnership with Assurity Consulting.

Check out earlier blog posts about Lab+ and the Service Innovation Lab.

Follow us on Twitter at @NZLifeEvents.

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Comments

  1. Dave Bartlett 06/06/2017 10:12am (24 months ago)

    "Government as a platform" is a fantastic innovation which is certain to open up a great deal of innovation on top of government services. "API first" should be the thinking pattern when building out online services. Innovations such as apps that mash up data across multiple government services and data sets depend on these sorts of interfaces.

  2. Pia Waugh 07/06/2017 9:04am (24 months ago)

    Thanks Dave :) We do hope so and looking forward to the discussion with community and private sectors about it! API first is certainly the thinking pattern, but also open APIs by default, only locking things down when there is a need, and even then creating a trust framework for trusted partners to potentially leverage. Open APIs FTW.

    Cheers,
    Pia

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