One-stop services ‘shop’ in NSW
The Service NSW website was launched in 1 July 2013 and now brings together over 800 ‘transactions’ for NSW residents and businesses.
The old way
Traditionally, government departments are set up in silos, with different departments responsible for different areas and services. While this worked internally, it was/is often frustrating for citizens accessing the services. Firstly, they had to work out which government department they needed to talk to, and often one event would require multiple dealings with multiple departments. Governments around the world have been grappling with this issue for several years.
Bringing services together into one central area is essential. As Tom Burton said in his keynote address at DrupalGov: “Service unification in many ways is pushing things harder than the actual digitisation process itself.” (See our blog on Tom’s keynote.)
Not only does it bring private/residential services together, it also offers business services too. Through Service NSW, NSW residents and businesses can access services such as:
- Applying for driver/rider licenses for cars, motorcycles and boats
- Vehicle registrations
- Birth registration and birth certificate applications
- Renewing or applying for an individual contractor’s licence
- Setting up a small business (guides you through the process, including setting up an ABN, registering a new business, etc.)
- Applying for a building permit
- Applying for a working with children check
- Applying for a seniors card
- Paying toll notices
It covers a variety of different services and provides a complete end-to-end service across different departments (so while there are different agencies involved, this is transparent to the end user).
This type of service unification in government is customer-centric. This is a key requirement of digital transformation in government — to remove the need for citizens to know which government department does what, in order to access services.
NSW Premier at the time, Barry O’Farrell, said when launching Service NSW: “This was shaped by you — the people and the businesses of NSW. You told us you want easier access to services at times that suit you. You also said you’d like consistent information no matter who you ask, and a single point of contact for government.”
Salsa Digital’s take
Service unification is a hot topic for federal, local, and state government departments and is key to digital transformation in government. It’s an essential part of putting the customer first and building a website strategy that will meet your customers’ needs. To date we’ve been involved in a couple of service unification projects, such as designing and building a web portal for recipients of disability care under the National Disability Insurance Scheme. The portal brought together several related disability services so disability recipients and carers could browse, choose and transact to enable self-managed care.
We definitely think service unification should be high on your agenda and we’re looking forward to bringing other examples of service unification to you in this blog series.