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Public Administration News  
Aust Post Spends US$2 Bil to Modernise Comms Infrastructure
Source: futuregov.asia
Source Date: Wednesday, October 31, 2012
Focus: Electronic and Mobile Government, ICT for MDGs
Country: Australia
Created: Nov 06, 2012

Australia Post is fast-tracking the delivery of digital services under moves to transform its national logistics network and modernise communications channels using cloud-based services.

This modernisation effort is supported by a US$2 billion (AUD$2 billion) investment that streamlines Australia Post’s overall infrastructure, as well as products and services in a digital economy.

This investment will create a world-class parcel delivery network that improves automation, and expands Australia Post’s footprint nationally, says Australia Post’s managing director, Ahmed Fahour.

Among the new offerings, Australia Post is offering a personalised “Digital MailBox” service to all Australians. This mailbox will enable consumers to connect securely with service providers, including banks, utilities and government entities.

Using a digital mailbox, an end user will be able to receive statements, bills and correspondence, set reminders, and make payments using any computer or mobile device, anywhere, any-time. This access is available using a single, designated password.

Additionally, Australia Post is offering a personal digital vault that can be used to store important documents.

This mailbox service has been designed as a closed and secure communications channel, and is hosted in an Australian cloud.

Australia Post’s digital mailbox service comes equipped with bank level security, with all communications being encrypted.

Unlike email, only certified providers can connect to the service. Customers will also be able to control who they receive communications from.

As a start, the Department of Human Services and the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) are taking part in a “proof-of-concept” trial of the digital mailbox.

This trial explores how this platform can be used to streamline access to government services, and improve communication between service delivery providers and citizens.

As a peak Australian government agency, the Department of Human Services administers the national Centrelink, Medicare and Child Support programmes. More than four million people currently use on-line services to access benefits.

Assistant Treasurer David Bradbury notes that the Australian Taxation Office has led the transition to on-line transactions with its Etax programme. This initiative was first introduced in 1999.

“Australians are increasingly turning to on-line resources to interact with government agencies like the ATO,” he says.

“Last year 2.6 million Australians lodged their tax returns using Etax and this number will continue to grow.”

He adds that a digital mailbox is an “exciting new concept that could see greatly increased electronic interaction with the ATO.”
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