Digital Simplification & Automation

Case studies from government agencies and jurisdictions around Australia focussing on digital transformations that have simplified government services.

You will hear:

  • how breaking down government silos creates a service that makes life easier for people
  • how a series of algorithms greatly increased the success rate in validating birth certificates
  • how process automation will improve productivity and the quality of services
  • how applying the Digital Service Standard has resulted in a premium product

Case studies:

  • Easy to do business – EnterpriseCreativeCloud and Service NSW
  • The birth of a new system – Civil Aviation Safety Authority
  • Delivering value through process automation – Productivity and Automation Center of Excellence, Department of Finance
  • A few clicks from local to global – Austrade


Easy to do business

Our challenge was to successfully drive and execute a complex digital transformation program, bringing together multiple services from over 140 agencies, across 3 tiers of government.

Our aim was to first understand how agencies prepare for transformation and work together.

NSW’s 765,000 small businesses represent 98% of all businesses. They are the engine room of the NSW economy, employing half the state’s workforce, contributing $340 billion to the economy..

Small business entrepreneurs are burdened with excessive red tape and complex government interactions. These significantly hold back a customer’s ability to start and grow their business.

Entrepreneurs face uncertainty and don’t know where to start, how long the process will take, and are unclear which regulations apply. Fragmented information from government contributes to the confusion and informal networks replace official channels for information and advice.

Our answer is a new, integrated and simplified digital solution, developed to support seamless customer-centred user interactions across government. The solution addressed the entire customer journey, replacing over 48 forms and 75 regulations with a single application. This case study focuses on real-world customer issues, the challenges and opportunities, and the valuable lessons that can be re-applied. Join our interactive discussion on the shared values and success stories across government.


The birth of a new system

CASA launched a digital Aviation Reference Number (ARN) service in July 2018. We used the Document Verification Service (DVS) to verify different forms of identification.

Soon after launching our ARN service, we noticed passports had an extremely high pass rate of over 95%. However, pass rates for birth certificates were only around 30%. To find out why, we started a discovery process to analyse data and understand the problem, so we could create the right solution.

Key challenges included:

  • inconsistent certificate styles
  • multiple data points required for passing certificates
  • confusion from users about what data had to be entered

We balanced quantitative–analysing and testing over 350 birth certificate samples, and qualitative methods–concept testing new screen designs. This helped to make sure we built a solution that worked for users, but also outputted the correct data to work technically to achieve passes in DVS.

After several months of research, design and development, CASA released a new birth certificate interface in March 2019, with an immediately uplift in birth certificate pass rates, which are now consistently over 80%.

Delivering value through process automation

The Productivity and Automation Centre of Excellence (PACE), is a whole-of-government initiative led by the Service Delivery Office (a Shared Services Hub). It aims to improve productivity and the quality of services using process automation.

PACE has partnered with several agencies to create common automation technology infrastructure, develop a consistent internal automation capability for government, and achieve license discounts for all agencies.

The Department of Finance and the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science are using process automation to improve productivity and service quality in shared services. Over 15 automations are now running across payroll and finance operational functions, freeing up more than 5,000 hours for staff to use on higher-value work.

We have established standard technical architecture for the Blue Prism automation technology in 5 agency environments with varying security postures. We've trained over 15 APS staff in the use of process automation software.

PACE has collaborated with the APSC and DTA to develop a Learning Design Standard for Robotic Process Automation, to support the ongoing growth and maturity of this capability.

PACE hosts a series of Community of Practice groups for agencies beginning to adopt process automation technologies. This includes a Senior Executive level Strategic Reference Group, attended by 13 Commonwealth and State/Territory agencies.

A few clicks from local to global

In January 2019, Austrade applied the Service Design and Delivery Process to the creation of a new digital service.

During Discovery, we found ‘information overload’ was a common problem for Australian businesses. With so much available, the challenge was finding the right information without having to sift through dozens of sites and reports.

These insights helped form our vision–to deliver an accessible digital product that helps Australian businesses find the right information, to help them make the right export decisions.

In April we launched our Beta and have continued to iterate the service, including regular Digital Service Standard assessments.

Our approach was to create a tailored experience, by asking two simple questions:

  1. What service do they provide?
  2. What country do they want to do business with?

Once answered, we give our users a short market brief covering the support networks available in the country, challenges and cultural considerations, laws and regulations, as well as grants and other financial assistance.

So far, we’re pleased with our progress–but more importantly, so are our users.

“This is a great starting point to get information about doing business internationally.”
User research participant, September 2019

Date and time



Nicholls Theatrette



Presentation type

Case studies