The e-business strategy of the Roads and Traffic Authority (RTA) is a model for online services that other government agencies could benefit by following, according to a NSW Auditor General report.
Released on Wednesday, the report is the latest in a series on e-government. The RTA’s registration services were chosen as a case study to highlight important aspects of online service delivery, says the report.
Currently in the third year of a five-year online migration strategy, the RTA has re-engineered its systems and processes “to deliver secure and reliable business-to-business and business-to-customer online services”, according to the report.
The report endorsed the RTA’s use of different surveys to determine its customers’ needs. RTA feedback from the third quarter of 2002 said 95 per cent of online customers rated services as good or very good.
The quality and reliability of information was also well managed, the report found. The RTA directorate with overall responsibility for online services worked with the RTA’s corporate communications (promotions), IT (technical), and business research (usage monitoring) units to “provide a sound basis”, said the report.
The RTA’s business partners, such as the Motor Accident Authority and the Service Station Association, were also reported to be satisfied. The RTA has progressed from transaction processing times of 27 minutes to 20 seconds, and has ensured the introduction of its online services haven’t disadvantaged any partner, the report said.
The Audit Office’s consultation with the NSW Police, however, indicated that access to the RTA’s DRIVES system, an interface to data such as vehicle registrations, was substandard. Access to DRIVES was too slow, and was often unavailable outside business hours, the report said. More effective consultation was recommended.
Other improvements the report recommended were to incorporate all information security policies into an enterprise wide framework. This “needed to be addressed as a priority”, and would ensure consistency across the RTA, the report said.
The RTA also needs to improve its capacity to monitor the overall costs, benefits and outcomes of the e-business program against set key performance indicators, the report said.
The promotion of the RTA’s online services was another area that needed to be improved, the report said, labelling past promotional activity as “soft”.
The RTA’s outsourcing offered many advantages in the short to medium term, the report said, but also posed long-term risks such as loss of technical expertise. The RTA outsources its data centre management, desktop services, and security.