Easier Access to Government Services
Public services should to be as easy as possible for New Zealanders to access and use.
Government agencies are working together to make their services fit smoothly into New Zealanders’ real lives.
We’re re-organising service delivery around the times when people often need to deal with government agencies a lot.
The first of these 'life events' is the birth of a baby. A new baby involves enough sleepless nights and busy times without our adding to them!
So making it easier for parents and caregivers access government-funded services and entitlements when a new baby arrives is the focus of a new work programme involving the Department of Internal Affairs, Inland Revenue, the Ministry of Social Development and the Ministry of Health.
So far, we have spoken with customers, service delivery experts and integration specialists to get ideas about how we can redesign our services and we’ve tested prototypes.
We expect the next phase will be formal procurement. All going well, we are aiming to release improved services later this year.
Service delivery focussed on life events
Currently, customers engage with government services through learning about the life event. They then navigate through those services in a way that reflects their own personal journey over time. They may be eligible for some services, and engage with those services. Customers also seek to capture information to reflect on their experience.
How to improve things
The Birth of a Child (BOAC) team sought guidance from a range of external parties through a series of dialogue sessions in early 2016. The team learnt that government needed to take certain actions, while avoiding others as indicated below:
- Ensure customers are at the centre of interactions, with consent gained for use of data
- Build a shared vision, align governance and management approaches, and explore partnerships with others (including the private sector)
- Bring the right mix of skills together, engaging those who have done it before and taking a human-centric approach, built around good team dynamics
- “Learn as you go”, and acknowledge failure as a learning experience
- Try to predict the future, but get on and do it avoiding the illusion of certainty
- Make things complex
- Think technology will be a barrier to what you want to achieve
- Forget to protect against potential misuse cases (by building in checks and balances)
- Use capital expenditure unless essential
- Get “locked in” - instead use “as a service” options (e.g. cloud computing)
- Earlier work on prototyping with the customer is helpful - RealMe is an asset
- Incorporate multiple channels (apps, portals and helpdesk) and leverage content management in www.govt.nz (C3GI), customer/staff feedback, & artificial intelligence.
A future state
In future, customers will engage with government through integrated services focussed around life events. Agencies see value in this shift to integrated services and will develop integrated services enablers (cloud based services) that provide for reuse of IT capabilities in other life events beyond Birth of a Child. These will be an open resource, accessible to all government service providers, and potentially private sector and NGOs as well.
Later in 2016, the first of these new integrated services, focused on services around the birth of a child , will begin to be available to the public.