Government that's easy to deal with

Objective 4 – You will have access to alternatives if you are unable to access services in a digital way

Objective status
In progress

We want all Australians to be able to access the government services they need, whether they choose to do so digitally, on the phone or in person. This means that we’re investing in digital channels, but we’re also improving non-digital experiences. We’re reducing call waiting times and bringing mobile government shopfronts to you.

200 + communities

Mobile service operations were provided to over 200 communities devastated by the bushfire crisis.

Near 100 per cent decrease in busy signals

There has been a near 100% decrease in busy signals of Services Australia calls in 2020-21 - 45 busy signals from 1 July 2020 to 30 September 2020, compared to 5,993,244 busy signals in the same period last year.

289 towns visited and 9,189 people assisted

Services Australia’s two Mobile Service Centres, Golden Wattle and Desert Rose, visited 289 towns and helped 9,189 people in the 2019-20 financial year. The Mobile Service Centres spent 75 days in 83 bushfire affected communities of Queensland, Northern New South Wales and Victoria and helped over 4,064 people.

Case studies

Access to Bushfire Support

Initiative

Establish mobile and remote operational capability that provides agility and flexibility to function in impacted areas lacking resources such as buildings, power and internet.

Benefits:

  • provision of support to Australians in environments where normal digital services are not available
  • expedited processing of claims and payments, providing timely assistance to Australians in need.

Summary

Across the country, Services Australia deployed mobile service teams,and mobile service centres over 420 times into 200 communities, where staff served more than 7,500 people.

Assisted by the Australian Defence Force, Services Australia provided support in otherwise inaccessible locations, and worked side by side with other State and Federal agencies to deliver an all of Government response to people in impacted areas. This provided disaster payments and up to date information on all Services Australia payments and services, all in the one place.

During the 2019-20 Bushfire season, Services Australia paid out more than $233 million in Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payments and took over 200,000 calls through the disaster payments hotline. The average speed of answer of these calls was measured in seconds and, in most cases, these payments were made in minutes using the New Payments Platform.

Services Australia

Australian Government Style Manual redevelopment for the digital age

Initiative

Produce a digital Australian Government Style Manual as the definitive guidance for government content.

Benefits:

  • supports digital transformation through clear and consistent content across government
  • reflects current language usage, as well as accessibility and readability standards
  • has clear, definitive rules and guidance based on evidence
  • is easily accessible to all users through a free website
  • will be continuously improved to ensure it is accurate and contemporary
  • is produced centrally, enabling agencies to focus on guidance that is unique to them.

Summary

The Australian Government Style Manual is the standard for all government content across all communications channels. It ensures user needs are at the centre of all content creation. It supports a clear and consistent approach to all government content. This helps to contribute to a seamless user experience across government. Through the application of the Style Manual, citizens have consistent and accessible content to make their experience of dealing with government simple and helpful across their preferred channel.

DTA developed the Style Manual in response to research that showed users needed clear rules and guidance supported by examples, rationale and evidence.

This was developed with the support of:

  • a cross-agency working group and governance board to oversee and champion the product and support implementation
  • an advisory board to adjudicate on points of style
  • subject matter experts to provide expert technical advice
  • a content partner to create the first draft of content.

The Style Manual is digital first in both content and format. It provides guidance to support digital accessibility and readability. It also introduces the emerging practice of content design.

The team continues to do user research to expand and improve the Style Manual. The Style Manual will be a living product and regularly updated to ensure it remains up to date.

Further updates will be based on:

  • evidence and shifts in Australian style
  • Australian and international standards for accessibility and readability
  • insights from ongoing user research
  • emerging patterns in user feedback.

Digital Transformation Agency