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Govt details $7.1m digital service for SMEs

Sarah Putt, Contributor. 16 July 2019, 6:00 pm

A single café can require up to 11 different licenses and spend 240 hours dealing with various Government agencies. That's according to the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, in its video explaining how the Government's new $7.1 million digital platform will make it easier for small businesses to access government services.

In an announcement today, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Minister for Small Business Stuart Nash provided details about the Business Connect Platform, which is designed to "integrate access to multiple services through a single digital platform, and cut out repetitive paperwork," says Ardern.

It is due to go live as a trial service in October with three core agencies - the Ministry for Primary Industries, MBIE and NZ Customs Service. MBIE estimates that the service will provide potential benefits of up to $300 million per annum through such things as reducing the time required to deal with compliance and faster processing of applications.

"In time businesses will be able to apply for a range of permits, licences and consents, without having to repeat the same information and documentation over and over… the pilot agencies will allow the platform to be tested in a real world environment directly with businesses. Other central and local government agencies will gradually come on board over two years," Ardern says.

Participating agencies include IR, ACC, MPI, Customs, NZTA, StatsNZ, WorkSafe, NZTE and Callaghan Innovation. "These agencies account for around 83% of business interactions with government, and local government makes up another 10%. We will be actively working with these agencies and local government on the services that make the biggest difference to businesses."

Businesses will log onto Business Connect via a government agency or business.govt.nz and their identity will be verified through RealMe.

"Business Connect will allow a business to log on to a customised dashboard. They can update their information in one place and share that information across multiple agencies. They will be able to track the status of their applications and be notified online of approvals and renewals," Nash says.

"Businesses will get a head start if they have registered for a New Zealand Business Number, which will be used to pre-populate their details on the platform. Other tools to support business planning are available on the business.govt.nz website."

The Business Connect platform will be built by Datacom, and the cloud-based platform will use Pega System software, which uses low-code modular case management applications.


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