Estonia has appointed Siim Sikkut as its new Government Chief Information Officer, it has announced.

Prior to this, Sikkut was Digital Advisor to the Prime Minister of Estonia. He takes over from Taavi Kotka, with whom he introduced the pioneering e-residency scheme.

One of Sikkut’s priorities will be looking at using autonomous vehicles for public services, he revealed to GovInsider. “We want to innovate with autonomous vehicles in public service delivery, in social welfare or something else like that, so that we can take some workload away from public servants.”

“Most of the country is very sparsely populated, you can have villages where there’s just a few folks. If they’re elderly, social welfare workers have to try hard to get to them. It’s a very small leap of imagination, instead of social workers doing the driving, we could have machines do it themselves.”

Sikkut also noted that there is potential to bring more design skills into the Estonian Government. “I think we should strengthen this as a domain of work,” he said. “Even if we don’t assign a chief design officer, we can basically hire to government CIO team consultants and design people who help out.”

There’s “still lots to do”, he said on Twitter yesterday announcing his new role.

Now read: Why Estonia hasn’t built a government digital service

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