​ACT wants Australia-wide interoperability in government service delivery

The ACT government will soon be launching new digital services for citizen engagement as it looks toward an Australia-wide model.
Written by Asha Barbaschow, Contributor

The nation's capital is gearing up to launch a whole suite of digital services that will allow citizens to interact with government via a new digital platform.

While the idea of residents in the Australian Capital Territory interacting with government on a digital platform is still a relatively new concept, David Colussi, director of digital experience at the ACT government, has a grander vision, and wants to achieve interoperability between all of the country's states and territories.

"We certainly would like to do that," he told the GovInnovate summit in Canberra this week. "We are working towards that federated model."

Colussi did concede, however, that it is hard enough to integrate services within governments as it is, pointing to the new offering the ACT will soon be launching.

"The principle by which we're designing this service is very much around a federated model," Colussi explained.

"What we'd really love to do is consume token from MyGov or Service NSW to say, 'This is Tom, you can trust that this is Tom because we've done identity access management processes to this standard'."

The first services to be released in beta form as part of the ACT's new digital services offering will be called MyVehicles, which will allow citizens to register, dispose of, or get a permit for an ACT-plated vehicle.

In order to access the service, ACT residents will be required to create an ACT government account or upgrade their Access Canberra account, which already allows locals access to an amalgamation of government services.

Further digital services are expected to be released in the coming years to the new digital platform.

"We've developed out a few different waves of transactions and what we're trying to do here is start to congregate like services in one place," Colussi said.

"This is an ongoing process of transformation about our service design and delivery. We want to engage with the community about personalising and customising the service offer to the community and that means we need to understand who the customer is.

"There's a value in the customer logging on and creating an account with the government [and we want to] offer better services to that individual."

The New South Wales government launched Service NSW in mid-2014, which brought together a number of different state government services under the one office, including Roads and Maritime Services; Births, Deaths and Marriages; and small business support.

In the 2015-16 budget, Service NSW was slated to receive AU$362 million to increase the number of digital interactions between consumers and government, and to roll out a further 27 one-stop shops across New South Wales.

Since then, the state government has taken the service digital. It launched initiatives such as the Service NSW mobile application, which just this week saw the availability of the first batch of digital licences including the recreational fishing fee, responsible service of alcohol, and responsible conduct of gambling competency cards.

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