Governments need to learn lessons from the private sector, particularly when it comes to using technology to achieve efficiencies in service delivery, according to the Intergenerational Report/
The 2015 Intergenerational Report, released today, points to the establishment of the government's Digital Transformation Office (DTO) as an important step in this direction.
"The DTO will focus on end-user needs in developing digital services, so that government services can be delivered digitally from start to finish and better serve the needs of citizens and businesses," the report states.
The government announced in January the creation of the DTO, which sits within the Department of Communications and has been given the job of developing and co-ordinating digitally delivered government services.
At the time the government said that the DTO would function in a manner more akin to a startup than a traditional government agency.
One of the first tasks of the DTO is establishing a single digital identity program for accessing government services.
An FAQ document published by communications minister Malcolm Turnbull said that the office had been established ""so that agencies can adopt a coordinated, whole-of-government approach to service delivery, moving beyond the current model of agencies operating in silos".
"We will implement government services that are reusable and interconnected, with platforms that can be leveraged across agencies and shared by everyone," the document stated.
"This will enable the government to deliver high quality services more consistently using a common ‘look and feel’, with users always at the centre of the digital transformation."
"The establishment of the DTO is recognition that, like any other service provider, government should design its services in the most user-friendly way," the Intergenerational Report states.
"By designing digital services that are consistent and easy to use, fewer people will need to visit government shop-fronts or make phone calls. This will deliver efficiencies in operating costs, while making government services simpler, clearer and faster for Australian families and businesses."
The report also said that there is "huge potential" to "modernise and better manage Australia’s national data infrastructure, with appropriate data sharing and access arrangements that take advantage of new technologies, and make the best use of existing data and scarce resources".
"Improved data quality and the ability to respond more quickly to emerging trends and issues will better inform policies for the benefit of all Australians," the report states.