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The Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Brendan Howlin TD, has published the Government’s new approach to eGovernment, entitled eGovernment 2012-2015.

The eGovernment plan contains 44 actions across eight key priority areas which will ensure that the progress already achieved will continue and that Ireland will be in a position to benefit from the opportunities offered by existing and emerging technologies.

A 45th action sets out the governance arrangements to ensure that progress with eGovernment plans is appropriately monitored. It states: All Public Bodies will develop detailed eGovernment Plans, in accordance with advice issued by CMOD following consultation with the Public Service CIO Council.  Regular progress reports will be submitted by CMOD to the Cabinet Committee on Public Service Reform and to the Government.

An assessment of a number of projects will now be conducted to analyse their suitability for electronic delivery. These projects include: Renewal of adult passports, rollout of across all Local Authorities, planning applications and objections,  DevPlanGIS (national spatial data information system), partial application for driver licences, welfare Benefit and Entitlement Applications, incorporation of companies, relevant contracts tax, manifest system for trade facilitation, business reporting XBRL for corporation tax and land registry services for individuals. This assessment is to be completed by the end of 2013.

The eGovernment scheme is underlined by five key principles including:   The needs of citizens and businesses are at the centre of eGovernment; public services should be delivered through the most appropriate channels; eGovernment should reduce the administrative burden for citizens and businesses; eGovernment projects should reflect Business Process Improvements, delivering demonstrable efficiency, effectiveness and Value for Money gains; and public bodies should work to ensure that the online channel is the most attractive option for customers.

The Minister said that public bodies must adhere to the approved governance requirements and to “build on successes to date and to continue developing new services that meet the needs of citizens and businesses”.  He also highlighted additional developments in ICT including the creation of a Public Service Chief Information Officer Council and the establishment of a Data Sharing Clearing House, set up to advance data sharing across the public service.