by Chloe Gunn
On the 20th of August, Catalyst welcomed Ms. Azlina Azaman, and five colleagues from the Planning and Policy Division Public Service Department of Malaysia, to learn about Digital Government with a demonstration of the innovative and advanced SmartStart platform.
The New Zealand Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) is leading the way in providing digital services focused on - and titled - Life Events. DIA has collaborated with Catalyst to build SmartStart, an online portal helping parents from pregnancy to birth and beyond and Te Hokinga ā Wairua - End of Life, designed to help you through bereavement and also give you advice about getting your affairs in order.
These Life Events platforms are some of the first steps the New Zealand Government took in the Government ICT strategy to enable New Zealanders to experience and access seamless, integrated and trusted public services. For example, SmartStart was launched by DIA in 2016 and continues to improve accessibility and awareness of the multiple agencies and services New Zealand residents can use; agencies include the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Social Development, Inland Revenue, and NGOs like Plunket and the College of Midwives.
After a run-through of the platforms, a retrospective look at the projects, and a discussion about the future plan and potential of digitising government services Ms. Azaman reflected on the capabilities of open source, sharing “This is how open source should be done – use it, build on it, give it back.”
Ms. Azaman spoke of how she wished to create a hub of digital leaders - not just stakeholders, and see people thrive with the digital transformation, “don’t just walk through it, run with it. Learn”. It was fantastic to see our guests embracing the open source community’s culture and values.
The New Zealand Government is leading the way by harnessing the unlimited potential of open source technology to inspire creativity and innovation around its services platforms.
The open source infrastructure provides complete control and future-proof solutions for government agencies; as needs and functionality evolve, so can the platform. These sites are scalable and easy to add to or recreate, allowing governments to focus money, time and effort into core delivery areas.
This was a fantastic opportunity to showcase New Zealand’s tech industry’s leading-edge innovation and we were honoured to receive a token of gratitude from the Malaysian delegation who presented Catalyst with a wooden carving of the Jabatan Perkhidmatan Awam building in Malaysia, alongside a beautiful traditional wall hanging.
Looking back on the progress and growth that has resulted from Catalyst’s and DIA’s collaboration, we are excited to see how the Malaysian Public Services progress with their own Digital Government transformation, and we look forward to supporting them on their journey.
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Catalyst is a New Zealand-owned and operated company where values, community, and integrity are paramount. Since 1997, Catalyst has been dedicated to using the world’s best open source software and tools to deliver robust IT solutions for our clients. We have grown through long-term commitments to our clients, a culture of collaboration and organisations consistently experiencing the superior economic and social value that open source delivers.