Govt needs to get its online act together: Deloitte

"Fragmentation (in service) is the case in generally all government departments," Mike Lisle-Williams, Deloitte Consulting's principal, public sector group, said yesterday.

His warning comes with the release of an e-government report from Deloitte Consulting, announcing that Australian government agencies expect 34 per cent of citizens to perform all transactions with the government online by 2002.

However, Lisle-Williams disagreed with the figure released yesterday, saying it was an "understatement" and closer to 50 per cent.

The research was based on responses from senior officials from 25 Australian government agencies -- three federal and 22 state departments.

Lisle-Williams believes the "real concern" for governments is "how much voice and choice people have" when dealing with them. "The technology is not the obstacle," he stressed. "CRM is not just an IT or business issue," but a PR issue.

"If (governments) don't know their local community, councillors will get thrown off," he joked.

Lisle-Williams believes that as PC and mobile use "go through the roof", agencies will need to achieve a combination of professional, speedy, round-the-clock service with "certainty of fulfilment and a strong personalised touch".

He said the ATO and Centrelink provide a yardstick for quality service. "They connect channels directly to the consumer," he said, citing "routine" transactions like licence approvals and welfare payments to collection agents as the most efficient, high-demand online services.

Deloitte's research has consistently shown that consumers "don't expect any less from the government than they do the private sector", according to Lisle-Williams.

Government agencies are pushing for Mysap.com-style portals with a "highly personalised, clustered" approach to service provision, he said, opening the door to similar government and industry association services.

The public sector's online overhaul will cost "tens of billions", according to Lisle-Williams, saying it was too early to provide an accurate figure. It will focus heavily on implementing e-procurement and electronic cataloguing solutions across all agencies over the next two years.

Vendors backing the government's e-procurement plans include SAP, Oracle, PeopleSoft, Siebel, Areba and Vantive. Their B2B and B2C contracts with respective departments rank in the "hundreds of millions", Lisle-Williams estimated.

Moreover, the Tasmanian government appears to have taken the online lead by devising the Intelligent Island Program, worth $200 million, under which the government and private sector will collaborate to offer wireless, broadband customer services, targeting rural users.

Lisle-Williams predicted most departments will need to drop call centres eventually to achieve a cost-effective online arm. The cost of an online licence is a quarter of a call centre licence, he said. "The economic imperative is there."

However, call centres would remain critical to employment and welfare departments due to the "complicated, judgment-based" nature of their service.

While Lisle-Williams believes that Australian government departments are "10 per cent ahead" of the US and Europe in providing quality online service, he conceded that Australia is "only seeing the dots in the e-business picture, not the whole picture".

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Helen Han

PC World
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?