Improved online government service delivery and engagement
By 2020, four out of five Australians will choose to engage with the government through the internet or other type of online services.
If we had the choice, many of us would likely prefer to access government services online rather than by mail, phone or in person. That’s why the government is making sure its services are increasingly available online – making an application or an appointment, paying a bill, making a query, these are all easier and time saving if we can do them online.
Why is it important?
Putting government services online isn’t just easier or time saving, it can also save Australian taxpayers money. A report from the UK found that in comparison with an ‘in person’ visit to an office, which cost the taxpayer around AU$16.00, putting the same service online cost the taxpayer around AU$0.12. Online services also give Australians who find it difficult to travel to an office or to phone one better access to these services. This is especially beneficial for those of us in regional areas who have to often travel long distances to get to a government office.
Where are we now?
There’s been good progress in getting important government services online. Australians can now claim Medicare bills online rather than lining up at an office, as well as reporting income or making a claim for Centrelink payments online. Local government services are also increasingly going online, especially with the help of the Digital Local Government Program. The Department of Human Services also have a number of smartphone apps and use ‘Speechbubble’, which is an online community consultation about their programs. Learn more about online government services at www.australia.gov.au .
The Digital Local Government program is helping communities in NBN rollout areas develop online services such as planning applications, consultations, and reporting.
Tell Us Once is an ongoing initiative is aiming ensure that Australians who have more than one government service will only need to provide information once rather than to each agency.
The Department of Human Services’ NBN-enabled video conferencing pilot is giving Australians access to family health, education, employment and financial services through Centrelink, Medicare and Child Support programs. This program is especially useful for those of us in regional, rural, and remote Australia who have difficulty getting to an office.
The Department of Finance and Deregulation has developed data.gov.au as a data catalogue of government information. The site provides an easy way to find, access and reuse public datasets from federal, state and territory governments.