Much has been said in recent months of the revolution beginning to occur in the US Government Agencies with the more open and accessible stance that Obama is taking. Notwithstanding the dearth of activity on his Twitter account post election, news of his blackberry, the new websites, the ability for citizens to contribute and the use of YouTube as a communication channel have all been heart-warming to those who believe in the value of open and accessible communication channels.
Not to be outdone, and despite the barriers that poor to mediocre broadband penetration and high mobile data charges put up, New Zealand too is doing some very cool stuff in this area.
The New Zealand Companies Office is the agency that is charged with looking after a number of different functions including company registration and the registration of trusts, personal security information, retirement homes and incorporated societies. All pretty ho-hum stuff that one wouldn’t expect to be leading the way in technology adoption. But they are…
The companies office contact page has a plethora of web 2.0 goodness. Some specifics include click to call Skype integration and Google maps and street view integration. However the office isn’t resting on its laurels. It is now active on Twitter (follow them here) as well as having a Facebook presence.
Company incorporation, a process that only a few years ago took weeks and lots of paperwork, is now entirely processed online. As well as that the office has an extensive mobile presence that allows companies to search and transact on the office registers from their mobile devices.
And such obvious, but until now impossible, developments such as automatic communication between government departments is now possible. As an example one can register a company with the companies office and obtain a tax number from the Inland Revenue Department all at the same time.
Not wanting to be outdone, the NZ Police are porting status updates to twitter, yes you to can follow the excitement that is policing in Christchurch, New Zealand!
Like all changes, and especially those involving public money, there needs to be a bottom line result to justify the move. The new communication channels have decreased response time, increased customer engagement and decreased the costs involved in running the office. Now that’s a win all around!