ACT Government

It’s not just about digitising existing services and automating workflow. We’re using technology to innovate and provide more proactive service — leapfrogging the services available today.”

David Colussi, Director of Digital Experience for the ACT Government

ACT Government defines what it means to be fearlessly digital

Embracing the disruption and renewal that comes with technology, the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) Government has a vision to be fearlessly digital. It wants to grow and diversify its economy, connect its people, accelerate learning, and nurture its culture and community – and innovative technology is a key part.

David Colussi, Director of Digital Experience for the ACT Government, said that citizen centred design and mobile first services were a priority. “We want Canberra to be a smart and connected city where citizens can interact with the government and access the services they need through their mobile device. We are striving to simplify and personalise the delivery of digital services and make a real impact on the community,” Colussi said.

Salesforce provides foundation for digital service delivery

Driving the ACT’s digital strategy and shaping new capabilities is the Office of the Chief Digital Officer (OCDO). The OCDO aims to bring cohesion to the digital transformation program and has been working with government directorates to co-design new services.

“We see a future where you have a parent walking down the street and they receive a push notification that their child’s class is going on an excursion. They can opt to provide their permission right there and then through the app. There are no more notes going home in Johnny’s bag and everything is streamlined at the back end too. That’s the user experience we’re chasing and we are using Salesforce to help us deliver,” said Colussi.

To solve the challenge of making the system easy to adopt while safeguarding access to appropriate information, ACT Government has used Salesforce Identity to successfully implement a multi-level access capability.  Citizens go through a simple initial on-boarding process to create an ACT digital account, which allows access to non-sensitive transactions. After entering additional ID (such as licence or passport), citizens can securely access more sensitive transactions.

A platform for innovation and citizen engagement

The OCDO is working across the ACT Government to standardise both the creation and delivery of new digital services. It wants to avoid the potential for a fractured experience resulting from the use of different architectures, and found Salesforce to be appropriate for designing and orchestrating new services.

Colussi said the ACT Governmentis using Salesforce as part of its customer experience layer, enabling it to create more innovative services tailored to the needs of its citizens. “It’s not just about digitising existing services and automating workflow. We’re using technology to innovate and provide more proactive service — leapfrogging the services available today,” he said.

The OCDO has built a small suite of services on Service Cloud and Community Cloud already. All of these have been co-designed with government directorates who then manage them on an ongoing basis. One of these is a diversity register used for recruiting with the aim of improving diverse representation on government and non-government boards.

The government is also using Salesforce to solve current challenges related to public housing. One practical application is a mobile app, under development, that will allow public housing tenants to lodge maintenance requests from their phones. The smart application pulls in contact details from the tenant’s ACT digital account and then prompts them to add details of the request and any photos that may help to manage and resolve the issue faster.

Even more progressive is a digital application process being developed for government loans for rental bonds. The ACT Government already offers a loan facility to help individuals get into the rental market, and shifting toward automation will improve the speed of the application process to ensure loans are approved in time for people to secure housing quicker.

“We want to make the experience of taking out a rental bond loan completely digital. A citizen out viewing a property should be able to apply for a loan on the spot and get pre-approval using their mobile phone,” he said. “We are developing this functionality in Salesforce right now.”

Looking further into the future, the OCDO is looking to explore use of Marketing Cloud to create personalised customer journeys.

Early milestones fuel excitement about the future

Now that the ACT Government has a way to securely identify citizens online and a platform to build out new services, directorates are inspired to find better ways to deliver good outcomes to those they serve.

Colussi said that solutions developed by Salesforce partners and customers were helping the ACT achieve its digital services vision. “Salesforce has been a great partner for us not only because of the technology they provide, but because of their commitment to making a positive impact on the community. They are proactive in sharing ideas and use cases from overseas that can help resolve some of the challenges we have locally.”

Colussi said that the community impact was a key measure of success for the OCDO. “It’s not always possible for citizens to go out and transact with government in person, especially when they’re in crisis. By adopting a citizen centred design approach and building modern digital services on the Salesforce platform, we can meet the customer where they’re at.”


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