If someone asks you to describe in one word what it’s like to file your tax with the Government, I am sure there are lots of words which quickly spring to mind.
If someone then asked you describe in one word what it was like to file your tax with the ATO five years ago, I am sure the answer is quite different.
Government services are improving, and filing your tax is just the start. However as we will all probably agree, there is still a long way to go. Applying for citizenship, lodging company documents, and seeking benefits and payments are all examples of services which are harder than we want them to be.
The Digital Transformation Office is a fantastic initiative coming out of Canberra, and there are a series of state wide initiatives taking off which give us all hope that the public sector is really beginning to listen.
So what is causing this shift? A recent study by Delloitte believes there are three key factors at play:
- ‘The first of the forces, rising citizen expectations for service, have in many ways stemmed from consumer interactions with private sector providers such as banks, travel and lodging providers, and entertainment operators’.
- The second force, government fiscal constraints, are a key challenge – and opportunity – for public sector organisations aiming to enhance customer service innovation.
- The third force, advances in information technology, can help improve the quality of customer interactions and their ease of access, all while lowering costs.
This changing environment really is redefining Government service delivery. As more and more departments and agencies follow in the steps of the ATO (which is the plan), the outlook is beginning to look very bright for us, the customer. The DTO has recently announced a series of projects which have entered the alpha and beta stages of development so it’s worth keeping your eye out to see how this might impact your day to day lives.
The DTO’s tagline to provide services which are simpler, clearer and faster to use, sums it up nicely. The aim is that every interaction with Governments will be as easy and painless as possible. It should be as easy as when you want to book a holiday, or sign up to a new music streaming provider, or even pay a bill online. The service must be built with the user in mind.
So the future of Government service delivery is exciting and the possibilities are endless.
And it seems like the best way to leave you is in the hands of the Assistant Commissioner for Individual Taxpayers to talk you through it:
The User Centric Service Delivery in the Public Sector Conference takes place this April and will explore methods for leveraging digital technologies to create simpler, clearer, faster Government services. Book your place by February 12th to save $200.