OECD E-Leaders Meeting 2015: Communiqué


OECD 2015 E-Leaders Seek Digital Transformation of Public Sector

30 September 2015
Tokyo, Japan


Government technology leaders from around the world have concluded the OECD’s 2015 E-Leaders Meeting where discussions over the past two days have focused on the theme of "Fostering a Data-Driven Public Sector". More than thirty countries took part in the meeting, along with participants from civil society, academia, and international organisations.

Discussion at this year’s E-Leaders meeting explored how governments can make better use of data to improve outcomes for their citizens. The topics of "big data" and "open data" are increasingly high on the priority list of policy-makers, who are considering how to unlock the value of information to tackle complex public policy issues. Delegates discussed the need to maintain and build public trust through increased transparency, while maintaining security and privacy of personal data. The importance of identity as a foundational element of the digital world was discussed, along with the need for governance frameworks that are coherent and fit-for-purpose to deliver value. Participants also explored ways to better incorporate user perspectives into government programmes to create more equitable relationships between government and citizens as well as the need to mainstream the use of digital technologies and increase capacity among public servants for creating and analysing data.

Colin MacDonald, Chair of the E-Leaders meeting and Chief Executive of the Department of Internal Affairs and Chief Information Officer for the Government of New Zealand, said "Ensuring that we fully grasp the data opportunities before us in government means that information and technology can no longer be solely the domain of specialists – it needs to become the way governments are viewing the future, part of the mainstream, because our services and citizens depend on it." said Mr. MacDonald.

This year’s meeting was notable for the number of non-OECD countries who participated, in part thanks to a partnership with the APEC e-Government Forum which saw a number of APEC member countries attend the E-Leaders meeting for the first time. Rolf Alter, Director of Public Governance and Territorial Development at the OECD, remarked: "Policy-makers are increasingly struggling with how to provide effective and inclusive outcomes for citizens on an array of difficult issues, ranging from health and education, to international migration, to ensuring economic growth. Building a more data-driven innovative public sector is an important foundational element to deliver on the practical results that citizens expect from their governments. We will be taking forward the key messages from the E-Leaders meeting to our OECD Public Governance Committee Ministerial meeting taking place in Helsinki, Finland later in October for further consideration by Ministers from across the OECD", said Mr. Alter.

At the E-Leaders meeting, delegates also discussed a draft "Digital Government Toolkit" that is in development by the OECD Secretariat. Based on the OECD Council’s Recommendation on Digital Government Strategies that was approved in July 2014, the Toolkit will assist countries in implementing the 12 principles of the Recommendation and measure progress, as well as share best practices in digital government. A beta-version of the Toolkit will be launched online in the coming weeks.

The annual OECD E-Leaders meeting has been taking place since 2008 and brings together members of the OECD Working Party of Senior Digital Government Officials – the most senior government officials responsible for digital government in each OECD member country – to discuss issues related to the use of digital technology in government. This year’s meeting was hosted by the Government of Japan through the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (MIC).

For more information about the 2015 E-Leaders meeting or the OECD’s work on Digital Government issues, please contact: digital.gov@oecd.org



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