A pilot baby registration program being coordinated by the Digital Transformation Agency (DTA) will remove some of the ‘pain points’ for new parents in terms of dealing with government, a conference has heard.
Under the government’s digital transformation strategy, the DTA has committed to streamlining a range of complicated and cross-jurisdictional life-event services – like births, starting school, marriage, retirement and death – into a single process.
It is currently coordinating a birth-of-a-child pilot program involving the Department of Human Services and the ACT, NSW and Queensland governments, DTA CEO Randall Brugeaud told the Digital Summit 2019 in Canberra on Thursday.
Mr Brugeaud said the pilot will deliver an integrated service experience for parents of newborns, and is designed to streamline the process of registering the birth of a child and enrolling it in Medicare and Centrelink services.
According to the strategy, by 2025 expectant parents will be able to use the myGov digital platform to access information about childcare, immunisation and maternity leave. When the baby is born, and with consent from the parents, proof-of-birth data from the hospital will automatically trigger a digital identity, Medicare and Centrelink record, and My Health Record for the newborn.
Taking a life-events approach
Taking a “life-events” approach to service delivery can give a better understanding of when people need to interact with the government at different points in their lives, Mr Brugeaud said.
“Life events typically require many interactions, often spanning multiples levels of government, as well as third party and industry providers,” he said.
Some of these interactions are “delightful” but many of them are not, he said.
“While individual life events present a narrow view of pain points, a collection of life events provides a much broader view,” he said.
“Pain points” exist across life events in terms of government interaction, Mr Brugeaud said.
These can include difficulty finding the right information at the right time, being required to provide information multiples times, being unclear about the pathway to reach an outcome and not meeting service delivery expectations.
“Given these things aren’t isolated to one level of government or one organisation, it makes sense for us to solve these problems collaboratively,” Mr Brugeaud said.
“A simpler service for parents is also expected to increase the number of birth registrations, which underpins some of our most important national data and social policy assets,” he added.
Keeping up with private sector service delivery
Mr Brugeaud said the challenge for the public sector is to deliver “fast, efficient and tailored services” to users across different jurisdictions.
“Australians expect government services to be simple, seamless and secure because that’s their experience in banking, travelling and shopping,” he said.
“Public sector services need to be just as good or better than those provided by the private sector.”
This begins with ensuring that government services are “simple, well designed and user-centered”, he said.
“Understanding and responding to user needs is at the core of the government’s vision for service delivery,” he said.
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