Prime minister 'shocked' by govt IT

Prime Minister John Key told a business audience today that he is "shocked" by the state of many government IT systems.

"I've actually been shocked at how obsolete many public sector IT systems are, and how big the challenge will be to upgrade and modernise them." "

He made the observation at a speech about improving the public service to the Auckland Chamber of Commerce today, where he also announced the establishment of the new .

Key says that part of improving public sector efficiency will be upgrading IT and he wants to see "technology used to create a step-change in customer service".

Key announced 10 challenges for achieving a new "results-driven" focus for the public service, the last two of which are technology related.

The ninth challenge is about "improving interaction with government". It will involve a one-top online shop for all government advice and support for New Zealand businesses. The lead minister is Steven Joyce and the lead chief executive is current Ministry of Economic Development CEO David Smol.