Feds launch online service directory

Improved service delivery to citizens is the aim of a new federal directory service announced today by Special Minister of State, Senator Eric Abetz.

Abetz said the Federated Service Finder (FSF) is the first project developed under the auspices of the National Service Improvement Program, a program for assisting governments to develop collaborative agreements to improve service delivery.

Development of the new online service directory will include information from both the federal and state governments.

The collaborative head agreement for the FSF was signed last week by the three parties involved - Centrelink, the New South Wales Department of Commerce, and the South Australian Department of Health.

"The FSF will be used by service providers, such as general practitioners, and non-government community service organizations," Abetz said. "Service providers will be able to easily and quickly find information about service providers in other jurisdictions, allowing quicker and more appropriate referrals of clients and improved service delivery for Australian citizens."

Abetz labelled the initiative as a "significant step" towards more collaborative service delivery between tiers of government and better online services to Australian citizens. He also anticipates the FSF will lower costs in collecting and maintaining data, while protecting personal information.

"This important milestone would not have been reached without the commitment by the three parties towards cross-jurisdictional collaboration," Abetz said. "I would like to commend Centrelink, and the NSW and South Australian governments for leading the work in this area."

The FSF project is still in a trial phase and it is expected that other jurisdictions will join the project.

Abetz said The Online and Communication Council of Ministers - made up of representatives from the federal, state, and territory governments - has endorsed the NSIF as the preferred agreement-making framework for collaborative service delivery arrangement across jurisdictions.

More information is available online at www.nsif.gov.au.

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