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Building resilience into citizen service delivery - Part 1

Devastating bushfires, destructive floods, a global pandemic and even a mouse plague – the past three years have presented many challenges for our nation. Government operations that serve Australians in crisis have never been more complex and respite is not on the horizon.

This is the first blog in a two-part series that will outline the challenges and opportunities we’re seeing as Deloitte works with clients to build low-friction systems that support resilient communities.

The 2009 Black Saturday bushfires triggered a fundamental shift in how all levels of Government approach domestic disaster risk reduction and preparedness.

The result has been more than a decade of focus on improving cooperation, whole-of-government readiness, and investment in capability and capacity.

Examples of this maturity include improved inter-agency and civil-military cooperation, new centers of emergency management and coordination, and acknowledgement that impacted communities must have a voice in how and when assistance is provided by Government.

Digital solutions are an important enabler in continuing to improve community resilience. Given the lead times associated with their development, the best time to invest in this domain is years before it’s required. 

We see significant opportunities in improving or creating:

  • Citizen communication & payment portals that are frictionless, omnichannel and CALD accessible.
  • Workflow tools that integrate with those portals, allowing service delivery teams to access and share information remotely
  • A single-view-of-the-citizen that reduces the need to provide documents or information they may not have on hand
  • Real-time data flows between and within Federal, State and Local Government
  • Most importantly: solutions that allow money and aid to flow to impacted citizens and communities within hours, not weeks.

Determining who is impacted by a crisis, validating their identity, and confirming their eligibility for assistance can be difficult during the response phase.

Citizen and business data are often spread between (and within) the three levels of Government. Data sharing agreements have been historically rare due to regulatory, consent and security barriers, although the DATA Scheme has created revolutionary opportunities for Government to share data for the benefit of its customers.

We see opportunities in:

  • Capitalising on DATA to negotiate agreements and build and test system integrations between Government entities, including secure data transfer methods that can be activated at short notice.
  • Public Sector CIOs mandating that decisions regarding enterprise architecture, system adoption and data schemas include an impact assessment on future whole-of-government interoperability in a time of crisis
  • Agreements with private sector holders of critical data (such as utility companies) to collaborate with Government during times of crisis.

Case Study

Following a major storm in June 2021, the Victorian Government worked with Ausnet Services to administer its Prolonged Power Outage Payment to citizens.

Ausnet Service’s access to residential electricity accounts allowed the scheme to instantly link households in precisely defined impacted areas with account details held by their electricity retailer.

This allowed payments to flow at a speed that would have been otherwise unachievable.

Read more in our part 2 of this blog series


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The Deloitte Public Sector Operations team work with public sector clients to design, build and run customer operations.

We bring rapidly scalable teams, operational expertise and technology accelerators to high-volume case-based eligibility assessment, remediation, redress and compensation schemes, grants and application processing.