Skip to main content

Building resilience into citizen service delivery - Part 2

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 second 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.

While we want to maximise communication with citizens, we also want to minimize unnecessary inbound queries and exceptions. The latter category of exchanges can add to the stress experienced by citizens and overwhelm system capacity.

Opportunities to streamline this process include:

  • Not asking citizens for onerous proof of eligibility or to provide data that Government already holds
  • Not giving citizens cause to contact Government because information was unclear, inaccessible, or not tailored to their situation
  • Using positive assumptions about eligibility
  • Using straight-to-pay/auto-approve processes for the majority of claims 
  • Manage edge cases with skilled ‘concierge’ customer service teams.
Case Study

The Victorian Government’s Licensed Hospitality Venue COVID top-up payment used this approach as a design principle. The program team sourced each venue’s patron capacity from liquor license data, used this information as a proxy for the venue’s size and then allocated a grant tier. Payments were instantly transferred without any input from the recipient.

Crisis situations suit a different skillset and personality type than business-as-usual operations. Pragmatic, creative and decisive generalists tend to thrive, as do leaders who can unite multidisciplinary teams in ambiguous environments.

Significant opportunities lie in identifying these special people early, giving them freedom to make rapid impact, and establishing an appropriate risk & controls framework around them.

Case Study

A silver lining of the past 2.5 years is the impact of thousands of public servants, nurses, students, graduates, and call centre staff stepping into demanding operational leadership positions in COVID-19 response programs.

Through a combination of intense pressure and natural selection, a new cohort of leaders has emerged and excelled.

These junior leaders have effectively completed an intensive degree in leadership, systems thinking, process optimisation and how best to serve citizens under duress. They are armed with invaluable and hard-won experience.

The final step is to document the lessons they’ve learned and to build the tools and capability they’ll need for the next crisis, starting today.

Public Sector Operations

Read more in our part 1 of this blog series

Get in touch

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.