by Byron Connolly

Department of Human Services apps downloaded 4.5 million times

May 04, 20152 mins

The Department of Human Services’ Express Plus apps have been downloaded 4.5 million times since August 2012 and the agency expects strong take up of its child support app that was released last week.

As of 25 April, the Express Plus Centrelink app, launched on 27 June last year, has delivered 674,366 downloads. The Express Plus Medicare app has also been downloaded 669,397 times since its launch on 27 June, 2013.

These apps were originally released in cohorts, providing different functions for students, job seekers, families and senior citizens, which add up to 4.5 million downloads. Since then, all these functions have been rolled into the two Centrelink and Medicare apps.

The department’s IT chief, Gary Sterrenberg, told CIO Australia that the department is expecting strong take up of the Express Plus Child Support app over the next 12 months. This app enables parents to make and keep track of child payments, update their details and tell the department about changes in their circumstances.

The child support app, which took five months to develop, will be boosted by future upgrades including a Document Lodgement Service, which will enable users to upload their child support documents using the app, Sterrenberg said.

Sterrenberg said the transactions most commonly used on the apps to date are simple ‘view’ and ‘update’ transactions such as a payment history and updating personal details.

“Viewing of payment history represented almost 50 per cent of total transactions in the Centrelink Express Plus mobile apps for January 2015,” he said.

“Offering these services via the Express Plus Child Support app means that customers do not have to visit an office or join the phone queue to complete these popular transactions,” he said.

Meanwhile, the department’s $1 billion welfare payment system upgrade – due to start delivering benefits by the end of 2016 – will lay the foundation for several innovative projects at the agency.

“The IT system replacement is still in the early stages of planning and further details will be announced in due course” Sterrenberg said.

The 30-year-old welfare payment system delivers around $100 billion in payments to 7.3 million people each year.

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