Does the Australian public services care about digital transformation?

AUSTRALIA Capital Territory (ACT) Public Services just published its State of the Service 2018-19 report, and it’s delightful to see that transformation is more than just an item on its agenda.

The ACT employ 5,778 administrative officers, 214 ambulance officers, 802 bus operators, 232 correctional officers, 255 executive officers, 332 fire & rescue officers, 176 ICT officers, 3,781 teachers, and more to total about 23,208 people.

As a collective, their objective is to use technology to transform the experience they provide to the public as well as help employees become more effective.

Last year, as the Strategic Board put together a list of its priorities for 2018-19, leading digital transition was just second to driving growth and diversification and it has delivered results by facilitating a number of projects.

For example, the Office of the Chief Digital Officer (OCDO) in Chief Minister, Treasury, and Economic Development Directorate (CMTEDD) established the ACT Data Analytics Centre.

The data analytics team comprises of data experts, uses an ACT-wide scalable data analytics platform, and is privy to associated governance arrangements. The Center helps regulators create better policies and offer better services by using data more effectively.

In its efforts to improve the work of the ACT public services, it embarked on nine data analytics projects aimed at enhancing practice, discovering new insights, and building analytical and visualization capabilities.

The OCDO also helped breathe new life into ACT Digital, an online platform for residents designed to provide them with access to a variety of public service after proving their identity. As a result of the OCDO’s efforts, more than 7,400 people created a digital account to access these services during the reporting period.

Further, the CMTEDD delivered a range of services to delight existing and future employees. For example, it did away with paper-based job applications and built a digital platform for the purpose (launched in May 2019)— which saw 1,000 application in the first month itself (June 2019).

The directorate also automated salary report approvals and long-service leave entitlement calculations. Further, Housing ACT — the public housing platform — is driving an AUD2.134 million (US$1.46 million) business transformation program to built a modern digital service platform.

While these are just a few of the interesting digital projects, the report provides details about plenty of technology transformation projects being undertaken by various divisions of the ACT public services.

From digitizing government records to building smarter human resources information management systems (HRIMS), the collective seems to be working hard to transform how they support their employees and the public.

Although the report evaluates and reports on past performance, there are plenty of indicators that digital is a priority for the ACT public services, now and for the foreseeable future.

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