by Hamish Barwick

DHS saves time on processing customer transactions with Express Plus apps

Jul 24, 20133 mins
Government IT

The Department of Human Services (DHS) has begun to reap the benefits in moving to a self-managed services model, said its CIO, Gary Sterrenberg.

Speaking at the Technology in Government Summit in Canberra, Sterrenberg told delegates that it launched four mobile apps called Express Plus in August 2012 as part of its self-managed services strategy.

DHS has personalised the apps to specific citizen circumstances. For example, one app is designed for use by university students while another is for pensioners.

“Our mobile apps are 69 per cent more effective in allowing the citizen to get to the outcome that they need. That’s because they have been designed with the citizen in mind rather than a bunch of technologists,” he said.

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  • The Express Plus apps alert the user that it is time to do an activity such as file for a baby bonus at Centrelink.

    “This personalisation has allowed us to think about the person as a unique individual. In the past we would blast out 7 million SMS messages every time we wanted to get to somebody because we had no other way,” Sterrenberg said.

    The DHS is also chaining activities together. For example, a new mother may use the Express Plus Families app to post the doctor’s certificate and baby’s name.

    Traditionally, newborn child claims require the completion of a 20-page FA101 form and may take several weeks to process.

    However, by using the app, a new mother can complete a form in about five key strokes. Within 20 minutes of lodgement, a newborn child claim can be approved.

    According to Sterrenberg, there have been 15 million transactions since launch of the apps in August last year.

    “Transactions have been more effective and 200,000 hours of network processing time has been saved by customers accessing Express Plus,” he said.

    “We wouldn’t be able to cope unless we had these mobile channels. These apps are making a real difference in the way citizens are interacting with government. It is the way it should be.”

    Hamish Barwick travelled to Canberra as a guest of Association Communications Events

    Follow Hamish Barwick on Twitter: @HamishBarwick

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