Realising the benefits of the Service NSW initiative
The current benefits realisation approach for Service NSW needs to improve so benefits and savings can be effectively measured, reported and realised, according to a report released today by the NSW Acting Auditor-General, Tony Whitfield. Customers are finding that Service NSW provides a convenient and practical way to access all government transaction services.
'However, there is a lack of clarity about who should be monitoring and reporting on the achievement of whole-of-government benefits and savings anticipated for the initiative and there is insufficient data to fully value or identify individual agency and whole-of-government savings and benefits', said Mr Whitfield.
'This will make it difficult for government to demonstrate that the expected economic benefits of Service NSW will outweigh costs by five to one, and that savings to government will accrue after 2016-17. Selected benefits and savings are being monitored, for example, financial performance and customer satisfaction', he added.
Many parts of the initiative have been delivered over the last four years, including establishing Service NSW, opening service centres with extended operating hours, and a single 24/7 contact phone number. Roads and Maritime Services, NSW Fair Trading and the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages were amongst the first user agencies to move their customer and transaction functions to Service NSW.
Benefits and savings need clarification
The outputs, benefits and savings to be achieved from the $969.8 million allocated for Service NSW under both business cases are not sufficiently clear and specific. Planned benefits, savings, and outcomes, were either not well defined or inaccurate.
While Service NSW’s performance measures and results show that they provide positive and cost effective service, a lack of baseline measures means it is not possible to track proposed benefits and savings. Additionally, improvements in some aspects of service delivery cannot be meaningfully compared, due to inconsistent performance measures over time and between agencies.
The implementation schedule, some deliverables and performance measures approved in the business cases were changed during the implementation of the initiative. There is no documentation to advise why changes were needed, their effect on the planned benefits or savings, or their approval.
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