Government Advances Life Events Programme for Enhanced Public Services 

6th June, 2024

The Minister for Public Expenditure, NDP Delivery and Reform, Paschal Donohoe TD, today (05 June 2024) announced that the Cabinet has agreed to advance the development of the Government ‘Life Events’ Programme. This comprehensive initiative aims to transform public services to be more accessible, proactive, convenient and seamless both online and in line with the Better Public Services strategy. 

The Life Events Programme aims to address the sometimes disjointed nature of Government services and the potentially complicated processes that sometimes exist, particularly around major life events. These ‘life events’ could include the birth of a child, marriage, learning to drive, finding a home or managing the death of a loved one.  

Minister Donohoe said: 

“I am pleased to secure the Government’s backing for the Life Events Programme. This is part of our commitment to delivering better public services for our people. With this support, my Department can move forward from a successful pilot of the Government’s Digital Wallet, the Life Events Portal and other initiatives, to further testing, aiming to make services available for public to opt-into later this year. 

“The Life Events Programme will bring greater efficiency to Government operations and enhance our public services, meeting the needs and improving the lives of the people of Ireland. Furthermore, the Digital Wallet, the aim of which is to digitally store important personal Government documents, will be compatible with similar initiatives across Europe, marking a significant step forward in digital integration.”  

Three key initiatives that are underway will work together to provide a seamless and integrated experience, making public services easier to navigate: 

Digital Wallet: The Digital Wallet will be a secure mobile app that will house digital versions of personal Government documents related to various life events. These documents could include a driving license, age verification documents, birth and marriage certificates etc. This opt-in service is not designed to replace the physical documents, but from as early as the end of 2024, the public will begin to have the option to access interactive digital copies on their phones through the Digital Wallet. A prototype of the Digital Wallet is already in the pilot phase. The wallet is designed with a high level of security to protect users’ personal data. Users will have full control over their information, deciding what data to share and with whom. 

Life Events Portal: The Life Events Portal is an online platform where the public will access services in a more intuitive and convenient way as all relevant services will be grouped around life events. The Portal website is being co-designed with the public through consultation and workshops, drawing on insights gathered through extensive research with people of various needs and abilities. The Portal will simplify administrative processes, such as applying for benefits, registering for services, and accessing information. It will enable people to interact with Government services more efficiently with users interacting with one services Portal instead of multiple websites and other platforms.  

Service Redesign: Extensive citizen-centred design work is currently being carried out in collaboration with the public and Government Departments to understand unmet needs, uncover opportunities and redesign key services based on life events. This approach ensures that services are user-friendly and truly meet the needs of the public. The programme also focuses on simplifying complex services, making them easier to navigate and access. 

Minister for eGovernment, Procurement and the Circular Economy, Ossian Smyth TD, said: “The public is increasingly comfortable with using apps for various transactions. Our Public Consultation on Digital found that 34% of respondents already use a phone to access Government services, and 64% prefer one integrated app for all online Government services. The Life Events Programme builds on the positive advancements we’ve made in eGovernment, ensuring that services are designed around user needs.”  

 

 

NOTES TO EDITORS

The Life Events Service will deliver on Government’s commitment in the Better Public Services – Public Service Transformation Strategy to inclusive, high quality and integrated Public Service provision and seamless user experiences for the public.  

The Digital Life Events Service will also ensure Ireland maintains, and builds on, our global leadership position in digital, user-centric Government services. Ireland has placed in the top 10 international performers in the 2023 Digital Government Index (DGI) published by the OECD. 

The Life Events Programme represents a whole-of-Government approach, with Departments and Agencies collaborating to make services more proactive and seamless for citizens. This includes adopting the “Once Only” principle, reducing the need for people to provide the same information multiple times, and being more proactive in helping; for example, when a loved one dies, the service could potentially contact various departments on your behalf – with your permission – to notify them. 

The Department of Public Expenditure, NDP Delivery and Reform will collaborate with relevant public service organisations and Government Departments to ensure the necessary technical and regulatory arrangements are in place, to begin to make the Digital Wallet available to the public towards the end of this year. 

The Department of Public Expenditure, NDP Delivery and Reform is collaborating with other State Departments and Agencies in the development of the Service as part of this cross-Government effort to streamline interactions with public services, designed around the needs of users. The exact range of services that will be available through the Government Digital Wallet, will be tested through the pilot phase and expanded over time. 

Government will continue to use data responsibly and safely and will use evidence and research to offer services in a more responsive and proactive way. The Digital Wallet and other elements of the Life Events service will rely on the trusted and successful MyGovID to provide a secure eID.

 

Professional pictures issued by Conor McCabe Photography – info@conormccabe.ie 

 

ENDS