Technology cuts red tape

Technology is the key to cutting governmental red tape, according to an U.S. government official.

Kim Binkley-Seyer, Secretary of the Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) for the State of Florida, made the comment recently at the “Red Tape to Smart Tape” conference in Toronto. The event was organized by the Institute of Public Administration of Canada.

In her keynote, Binkley-Seyer said that “innovative” technology is necessary to improve and transform government regulation. Governments, including those in Canada, have to anticipate customer demand for real-time access to information with a central point of contact, she said.

Customer service, security and competition are driving forces behind the shift to providing government services online, Binkley-Seyer added.

Graham Gordon, partner, Canadian e-government practice, for Ottawa-based consulting firm Accenture Ltd., said the Canadian government has made a concerted effort towards providing secure online delivery to businesses and citizens.

“In general, people are expecting from the government the type of service they get from the private industry. This is not becoming a ‘nice-to-have,’ it’s becoming an expectation,” Gordon said.

Canada offers a lot online, but there are a number of inhibitors – including security and privacy issues – before government online service delivery becomes prevalent, Gordon noted.

“Government has been set up to create stovepipes in order to protect citizen information…the biggest challenge is to share information across various departments without breaking privacy laws,” Gordon said.