Announcing our work program

Today, I’m excited to announce that we’re taking the first steps toward improving online government service delivery. In any given month, more than half of the 2.5 million Australians who look up government information and services online will experience a problem. Chances are, it’s happened to you.

DTA staff stand-up meeting

Many departments are improving their services individually, but we can still improve our approach to design and delivery overall so that the public isn’t forced to wade through several different websites just to do what they need to do.

Our vision is that everyone who needs to use government services should be able to find what they need, quickly and easily. To achieve this, we’re working through a nine-week design process to create a GOV.AU prototype for how that could work.

Consistent with our approach to design, the prototype will be built around the users’ needs, rather than government’s structures. We’ve been open about our intention to harness the best expertise from the private sector as well, so we’ll be working alongside a number of Australian companies.

We’re working with the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science, in collaboration with the Australian Tax Office, to grow the economy by helping Australians establish new businesses. There are over 2 million businesses actively trading in Australia today, and that number is growing steadily. Currently, there are around 700,000 new businesses registered each year.

Getting a new business off the ground can be tough at the best of times, and it’s not something you do every day. To ensure we don’t make it any more complicated than it needs to be, we’re working to streamline business registrations: improving compliance, minimising errors and reducing frustration.

We know starting a business often involves getting state and local government licenses and permits as well. So the Department is also working with Service NSW to explore the best ways to link across governments and allow Australian business owners to get on with the job.

We’re working with the Department of Immigration and Border Protection to improve processes for Australian businesses engaged in international trade. Each year, the Department processes more than 3.5 million import declarations, and this number is expected to rise. We’ll work together with our industry partners to improve the current arrangements for the management of the importation of goods across the border.

We’ll be teaming up with the Department of Human Services to transform the way approximately 600,000 citizens register for Medicare each year, under the Digital Transformation Agenda.

We are working with state and territories, starting with the ACT Government, to transform services across all levels of government.When we say citizens shouldn’t need to understand the structures of government, we also mean they shouldn’t need to know the tiers of government responsibility as well. Each year in the ACT, more than 660,000 people seek non-urgent medical assistance through any one of seven Community Health Centres. We’ll be partnering with the ACT Government to improve the appointment booking system with the aim of reducing waiting times and overcrowding.

Over the coming weeks and months, I’ll be able to provide you with more details as we move through the Discovery phases of each project. I can’t wait to share what we learn.

Paul Shetler is the CEO of the Digital Transformation Office. @paul_shetler