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DIA New Zealand developing ‘single source of truth’ for information, tools and services to support public sector digital transformation

The Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) in New Zealand is developing a new website, Digital.govt.nz, which will serve as an all-of-government, online source of information, tools and services to support digital transformation in the public sector. It will be the ‘single source of truth’ for all that material.

Digital.govt.nz aims to fill in information gaps, by integrating content from ICT.govt.nz and the New Zealand WebToolkit.govt.nz, and exploring how to integrate new features such as automated quality assurance for content, and building in API (Application Programming Interface) capability. Following the migration of all the content, those two websites would be retired.

The website is being built on the Common Web Platform (CWP), which is a platform-as-a-service offering for the creation and hosting of government websites. The minimal viable product (MVP) is expected to go live in December 2017. Reviewing, re-writing and migrating content is expected to be ongoing through 2018.

According to a blog post on WebToolkit.govt.nz, the project team is working with content owners and stakeholders to map out the information architecture and to ensure that content meets meet the NZ Web Standards and that it is managed effectively going forward.

The team includes people from DIA’s Government Information Services (GIS), the Relationship Management team, the product owner for the (CWP), Communications, the Service and System Transformation group, and the Service Delivery and Operations group.

The team has a rough information architecture (IA) and some ideas about how to build an online service to meet the digital needs of the public sector based on previous research done by different parts of DIA. The aim is to build a flexible IA so that it stays fit-for-purpose.

Several ideas are being explored such as:

  • Distributed authorship: How to build a system that makes it easy for content owners to add and update content but still work within a ‘sensible, manageable’ IA?
  • Collaboration space: Feedback from an initial discovery phase identified a need for an open, transparent collaboration space.
  • Automation: During the MVP phase, the team will evaluate services which can be integrated into publishing processes to automate aspects of quality control for content development.
  • Content API: During the MVP phase, the team will also investigate the built-in API capability of CWP to assess the feasibility of making elements of content available for re-use on other sites such as the Public Sector Intranet or agency intranets.The team wants to have regular interactions and consultations across the public sector. Currently, the DIA is seeking feedback to understand different users’ needs, common problems, and common tasks through user testing workshops and online exercises

The team wants to have regular interactions and consultations across the public sector. Currently, the DIA is seeking feedback to understand different users’ needs, common problems, and common tasks through user testing workshops and online exercises

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