Transforming the Department of Human Services
Service Delivery Reform
Transforming our services through Service Delivery Reform
The Department of Human Services has begun a transformation to make it easier and quicker for you to access government services and get the support you need, when you need it.
The improvements we are making are part of the Australian Government’s long-term strategy called Service Delivery Reform.
Service Delivery Reform is about giving Australians better access to social, health and welfare services.
You can read more about Service Delivery Reform and the progress to date in the Service Delivery Reform: Transforming Government Service Delivery document [pdf, 1.7mb].
How our services will change
Since the Government announced Service Delivery Reform in December 2009, our customers, staff and the community have been telling us how services can be designed to better meet their needs.
Through Service Delivery Reform you will be able to access services and information in a way that suits you – online, over the phone, or face-to-face.
Our progress so far
Service Delivery Reform is a long-term initiative that commenced in 2010 and will run until 2015.
Many Australians are already benefiting from the changes made between July 2010 and June 2011, outlined below:
- Nine Local Connections to Work sites are supporting disadvantaged job seekers with over 500 job placements found for long-term unemployed. More information is available in the Strengthening Government Service Delivery for Job Seekers report
- Over 50 Centrelink and Medicare Service Centres are providing a range of extended services under one roof
- Customers, staff and the community have taken part in 29 forums to have their say in the design of services
- You can now access multiple Human Services online accounts with a single user ID and password through Australia.gov.au
- You can now claim the five most common Medicare claims online at medicare.gov.au
- You can now access information you need from across the Department of Human Services through this website and the 13 24 68 phone service.
Giving you a voice in how services are designed
The Department of Human Services is putting people first in the design and delivery of services by using an approach called co-design.
Already 29 community forums have been held around Australia to give our customers, staff and the community the opportunity to have their say in how services are designed. There will be more opportunities for people to have their say in the future.
The Concept Lab provides capability to develop and test new products or processes with real end users. This involves customers of Centrelink, Medicare and Child Support participating in interviews or focus groups to explore their preferences and expectations about their interactions with the department.
How the department will change over time
More help when you need it
The Department of Human Services is improving its services to meet people’s needs by providing more tailored and intensive support where it is needed most.
Local Connections to Work
Local Connections to Work connects long term unemployed and disadvantaged youth to employment, education and community services.
Local Connections to Work is available in nine sites (Campsie and Campbelltown in NSW, Frankston and Morwell in Victoria, Elizabeth and Port Adelaide in South Australia, Ipswich and Maroochydore in Queensland and Burnie in Tasmania) as of 30 June 2011.
Read more about Local Connections to Work
The Case Coordination program provides integrated and intensive support for people who need it most.
Case Coordination will assist customers to connect to the services they need when they need them. DHS staff will work with customers to help them to identify their needs, goals and aspirations, and to establish a plan of action that can involve linking them to a range of internal and external services.
Case Coordination trials are planned for 2011-12 in 19 sites around Australia, with a total of 44 sites by 2013-14.
Better access to services
The Department of Human Services is improving access to its services so you can access the services and information you need in a way that suits you.
More one-stop shops
The Department of Human Services is creating more one-stop shops that provide Medicare, Centrelink and Child Support services under one roof and extending services into more locations.
By 2014-15, all our offices will offer extended services. This means you will be able to access Medicare and Centrelink services in over 500 locations across Australia.
Lodge your Medicare claim online
You can now lodge some Medicare claims online through our Online Services. You can submit claims for anyone listed on your Medicare card. If you’ve registered your bank account details with us your benefit will generally be paid into your account the next working day.
If you aren’t able to claim your benefit from your doctor’s practice, claiming online at a time and place that suits you may be the most convenient way for you to claim from Medicare.
Some GP consultations can be claimed online. Currently, you can claim the following item numbers online—Item 3, Item 23, Item 36, Item 53 and Item 5020. Item numbers consist of one to five digits and will be listed on your account.
DHS web and phone service
The Department of Human Services has introduced a website and a single phone number to provide you with an easier first point of contact. The new web and phone services reduce the need for you to navigate your way around different agencies, making it easier to connect with the services and information you need.
Over time, separate websites and phone numbers for all our programs will be replaced with this new website and our new phone service.
You can use this website for all department services or call 13 24 68 to access the phone service.
Increased outreach support
Over the next four years the department will increase the number of outreach workers to help people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness and social workers who work with families experiencing difficulty.
Improved services for people in rural and remote areas and people affected by emergencies
Access to Australian Government services may be closer than you think.
There are over 580 Agents and Access Points offering a broad range of government services in rural, regional and remote communities, including Centrelink services, Medicare claiming and a wide range of information and self-service options.
Mobile Service Centres also assist rural communities with friendly, face-to-face service, information and support. Staff can assist you with Centrelink, Medicare, Australian Hearing and Child Support Agency payment and service options.
Our Mobile Service Centre staff are specialists in rural servicing and live and work in the communities they serve.
Mobile Service Centres also visit areas affected by emergencies and natural disasters to assist people in need of disaster relief and other government services.
A third mobile service centre will be added to the fleet in 2014-15 to assist customers in rural and remote areas and areas affected by natural disasters.
Making it easier for you to do business with us
The Department of Human Services is improving its processes and systems to make it easier for you to do business with us. We are simplifying our online services and developing better ways of doing business that will support our improved services.
To save you time, more forms and correspondence will be available online. We will also give you the option to tell us once about changes to your income, address details and other personal information, which can then be updated across all Department of Human Services programs.
We’ll also build more IT capability to support our business and streamline our systems and processes to simplify your interactions with us and make it easier and quicker to access services.
We are in the process of implementing the first phase of an improved Work Management System. The first phase will be limited to Centrelink services and will only involve a small group of participants from South East Queensland and Northern New South Wales, who use either telephone or face to face ways of dealing with us. In the months to come and once the first phase of work is finished we will start including Child Support and Medicare services. We hope to give participants a positive experience and expect this work will significantly improve our efficiency, enabling us to better serve the Australian public.
Integrating the Department of Human Services
On 1 July 2011 the Human Services Legislation Amendment Act 2011 was enacted to integrate Centrelink, Medicare and the Department of Human Services into the department.
A lot of work has already been done to integrate the Department of Human Services. Integrating our programs will free up our resources to invest in more effective services to the Australian public.
Protecting your privacy
The Department of Human Services is committed to protecting your personal information and privacy as we improve our services. Privacy protections are built into Service Delivery Reform, and detailed Privacy Impact Assessments are completed for each part of the reform before it is rolled out. This includes any project trials where real customer data is used.