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The New Zealand Technology Industry Association (NZTech) is welcoming progress on a business transformation project that will make it easier for business to interact with government agencies.
The potential that APIs and access to backend government data might simplify transactions with government was thrashed out at a recent workshop hosted by NZTech and the Government Key Results Area (KRA) 9 Programme.
NZTech CEO Candace Kinser says she’s optimistic that government agencies are embracing the idea of opening up access to data but acknowledges there are issues that need to be overcome.
“Guidelines including technical standards, standards around copyright, data reuse, security and privacy are all being developed to ensure the APIs are introduced within a robust ecosystem”, says Ms Kinser.
The Government Key Results Area (KRA) 9 Programme has targeted a 25% reduction in effort for dealing with government agencies for New Zealand businesses by 2017.
Ms Kinser says there’s ample evidence that government agencies have listened to business concerns and they’re already demonstrating an appetite for transforming the way they interact with business.
She cites the example of how the Companies Office API has been enhanced with the introduction of the NZ Business Number, an identifier for individual businesses. She says in future the NZ Business Number is likely to be used by businesses to interact with any government agency.
The response has been that Xero has already integrated the NZ Business Number into its award-winning software.
Statistics New Zealand is already working on a project that will see hundreds of APIs published over the coming months.
The next steps are a series of workshops to resolve issues with the likely outcome that two-three big APIs will be released this year.
Another key insight to emerge from the recent workshop is that government agencies will look closely at the idea of partnering with private business operators to ensure the development of the APIs is optimised.
Ms Kinser says “the willingness to open up access to data will make dealing with government agencies easier, will save businesses valuable time and money and allow those businesses to get on with doing what they do best – and that’s growing a more prosperous economy for all New Zealanders.”
New Zealand Technology Industry Association (NZTech) promotes the technology industry’s role in accelerating economic and social advance for New Zealanders, through direct collaboration with government leaders and other sector groups, and communication with all manner of stakeholders in New Zealand and abroad.