Annual Performance Statement 2015-16

Statement of preparation

I, Kathryn Campbell, as the accountable authority of the Department of Human Services, present the 2015-16 annual performance statement of the Department of Human Services, as required under paragraph 39(1)(a) of the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 (PGPA Act). In my opinion, the annual performance statement is based on properly maintained records, accurately reflects the performance of the department, and complies with subsection 39(2) of the PGPA Act.

2015-16 Corporate Plan Purpose

The department is the Australian Government’s focal point for delivering social and health-related services and payments to the Australian community.

The department is responsible for the design, development, delivery, co-ordination and monitoring of government services, social security, child support, students, families, aged care, and health programmes and superannuation release.

Through the delivery of health and welfare payments and services, the department touches the lives of around 99% of Australians. The department is developing innovative approaches to improve service delivery in close collaboration with the community and our partner agencies.

As part of this work, the department also provides support to Australians with changing circumstances, facing financial hardship or suffering from natural disasters.

(The relevant Outcome in the Portfolio Budget Statements 2015-16 Budget Related Paper No. 1.15B is Outcome 1).

Results

Program 1.1 - Services to the Community - Social Security and Welfare

Criterion

Achievement of customer satisfaction standards.

Target

≥85% of survey respondents are satisfied overall with their most recent interaction. The description of the target has been updated since the 2015-16 Corporate Plan.

Source

2015-16 Corporate Plan, p.16

2015-16 Portfolio Budget Statements, p.34

Result

66.8% of customers were satisfied. Customer satisfaction is calculated using an ongoing independent survey of a random sample of recent customer interactions with the department. The highest scores were provided regarding ‘Staff treated you with respect’ and ‘Staff treated you fairly’, suggesting the most satisfaction with these aspects of service delivery. Customers provided the lowest scores regarding ‘Time to receive service’ and ‘Ease of service access’, suggesting the least satisfaction with these.

Criterion

Achievement of digital service level standards:

  • Departmental interactions completed via digital channels

Target

≥5% increase in the total number of interactions conducted via digital channels compared to 2014 to 2015.

Source

2015-16 Corporate Plan, p.16

2015-16 Portfolio Budget Statements, p.34

Result

There was a 21.3% increase in the total number of interactions completed via digital channels. Increased uptake of the department’s digital platforms has had a positive influence on the performance of this measure. As more transactions were moved into the digital environment, online services and mobile applications were also enhanced to be more intuitive and easier to use.

Criterion

Achievement of digital service level standards:

  • Availability of ICT systems that support 24/7 customer access

Target

ICT systems that support 24/7 customer access are available ≥98% of the time.

Source

2015-16 Corporate Plan, p.16

2015-16 Portfolio Budget Statements, p.34

Result

ICT systems that support 24/7 customer access were available 98% of the time, ensuring very high levels of system availability.

Criterion

Achievement of payment quality standards:

  • Centrelink: delivery of correct customer payments

Target

≥95% of Centrelink customer payments delivered correctly.

Source

2015-16 Corporate Plan, p.17

2015-16 Portfolio Budget Statements, p.34

Result

98.4% of customer payments were delivered correctly. Performance is consistent with past trends, and has improved as the department continues to review and streamline processes.

Criterion

Key initiatives delivered as agreed within timeframes and on budget:

  • Welfare Payment Infrastructure Transformation Budget measures

Target

The delivery of Welfare Payment Infrastructure Transformation (WPIT) Budget measure initiatives as agreed within timeframes and on budget is achieved.

Source

2015-16 Corporate Plan, p.17

2015-16 Portfolio Budget Statements, p.34

Result

Achieved. The WPIT Budget measures were delivered as agreed within timeframes and on budget.

As part of Tranche One of the WPIT Programme, a Request for Expression of Interest for a Core Software Vendor was completed and the subsequent Request for Tender was released and evaluation of responses undertaken, with a preferred tenderer to be identified in 2016­-17. Preparation was completed for the procurement of System Integrators.

The planning and design work underpinning the transformation of the department’s delivery of services is well advanced in describing the Target Business Model and a Concept of Operations for the future welfare payment system. These models support the streamlining of business processes and building of enabling ICT platforms that will occur in subsequent tranches of the WPIT Programme to deliver a modernised user experience to the public.

The digital projects have completed extensive design work and identified improved solutions and new benefits for implementation through project delivery in 2016-17. The in-depth planning of the future business model and engagement of policy agencies and other stakeholders has contributed to the development of robust business designs and analytical tools to further support the programme.

The department continues to manage the inherent complexity of the technological requirements and the demanding programme schedule.

Criterion

Key initiatives delivered as agreed within timeframes and on budget:

  • Strengthening the Integrity of Welfare Payments Budget measures

Target

The delivery of the Strengthening the Integrity of Welfare Payments Budget measure initiatives as agreed within timeframes and on budget is achieved.

Source

2015-16 Corporate Plan, p.17

2015-16 Portfolio Budget Statements, p.34

Result

Achieved. The Strengthening the Integrity of Welfare Payments Budget measures were delivered as agreed within timeframes and on budget.

For the Employment Income Matching project, as at 30 June 2016, $401.2 million in savings has been raised against an annual target of approximately $329 million, and over 101,000 compliance interventions have been completed against an annual target of 84,000.

For the AUSTRAC Data Matching project, as at 30 June 2016, $8.4 million savings had been achieved against an annual target of $3 million. Noting that savings have exceeded the target, the unexpected higher level of complexity and time involved in both the analysis and investigation of the financial circumstances involved has enabled only 287 reviews to be undertaken with the allocated resources against an annual target of 626. Financial specialists have been recruited and more streamlined analysis and investigation processes developed and implemented including the ability to triage less complex matters at an earlier point. This will increase the number of reviews by enabling a better balance between complex and less complex matters to be undertaken in future years with the available resources.

The Real Time Risk Profiling initiative progressed ahead of schedule.

The capability to implement the Strengthening Obligations for Students initiative was developed and achieved through a series of ICT releases to prepare for a phased implementation. The delivery of scoping studies for the Administrative Sanctions and Prosecution Referrals initiatives was also achieved.

The Taskforce Integrity initiative was delivered as agreed within timeframes and on budget. The taskforce has leveraged existing relationships with law enforcement agencies, including the Australian Federal Police as well as the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions to identify potential non-compliance and welfare fraud. Communication products developed by the Taskforce have promoted key Taskforce messaging for payment recipients to ‘do the right thing’ and make sure their details are up to date. A focus on geographic locations supported a coordinated approach to deliver the compliance reviews on time and within budget.

Criterion

Key initiatives delivered as agreed within timeframes and on budget:

  • Jobs Budget measures

Target

The delivery of the Jobs Budget measure initiatives as agreed within timeframes and on budget is achieved.

Source

2015-16 Corporate Plan, p.18

2015-16 Portfolio Budget Statements, p.34

Result

Achieved. The department’s components of the Jobs Budget measures were delivered as agreed within timeframes and on budget. These included systems enhancements and service delivery process changes to:

  • support the Department of Employment in paying the Approved Program of Work Supplement to participants in the National Work Experience Programme
  • assess and refer eligible job seekers to Transition to Work providers
  • identify and classify people as Early School Leavers against the new rules
  • make referrals to ParentsNext Project providers and undertake compliance activities where ParentsNext participants fail to meet their compulsory requirements

A further set of initiatives is on track for implementation, subject to the passage of legislation.

Criterion

Key initiatives delivered as agreed within timeframes and on budget:

  • Families Budget measures

Target

The delivery of the Families Budget measure initiatives as agreed within timeframes and on budget is achieved.

Source

2015-16 Corporate Plan, p.18

2015-16 Portfolio Budget Statements, p.34

Result

Achieved. The Families Budget measures were delivered as agreed within timeframes and on budget.

The Large Family Supplement was ceased. Ceasing the supplement was a savings measure that resulted in some customers receiving less Family Tax Benefit or cancellation of payment in some cases.

The Extending Immunisation Requirements initiative was implemented within agreed timeframes and on budget. The desired policy outcome of the initiative is to increase immunisation rates for families with children of all ages receiving family assistance payments.

The Better Targeting of Parental Leave Pay initiative is subject to the passage of legislation.

Criterion

Key initiatives delivered as agreed within timeframes and on budget:

  • Income Management Budget measures

Target

The delivery of Income Management Budget measure initiatives as agreed within timeframes and on budget is achieved.

Source

2015-16 Corporate Plan, p.18

2015-16 Portfolio Budget Statements, p.34

Result

Achieved. The Income Management Budget measures were delivered as agreed within timeframes and on budget. This initiative has resulted in more streamlined and automated Income Management processes. Effective project management was in place to regularly monitor the performance of the initiative throughout the year.

Criterion

Support economic and social participation of Indigenous Australians through the timely delivery of appropriate departmental payments and services:

  • Centrelink: delivery of correct payments for Indigenous Australians

Target

≥95% of Centrelink Indigenous customer payments delivered correctly.

Source

2015-16 Corporate Plan, p.19

2015-16 Portfolio Budget Statements, p.34

Result

99.3% of payments were delivered correctly. The department has invested in Indigenous cultural awareness training to improve the skills of staff in providing services to Indigenous Australians. There is also an ongoing commitment to recruiting Indigenous employees, particularly in roles and locations with a high population of Indigenous Australian customers.  This includes ensuring staff servicing in Remote Service Centres, Remote Visiting Teams and within the Remote and ABSTUDY Smart Centres have appropriate levels of Indigenous cultural and contextual training, as well the technical skills to effectively undertake their roles.

This focus on Indigenous cultural and environmental awareness and understanding means that staff ask the right questions and undertake the necessary follow up actions to achieve effective payment integrity outcomes. This has had a positive impact on payment correctness outcomes for Indigenous customers in remote communities where issues with literacy and numeracy can present barriers to dealing with social security and welfare processes.

Criterion

Achievement of face-to-face service level standards:

  • Average wait time

Target

The average length of time a customer waits to access face-to-face services in the department’s service centres is ≤15 minutes.

Source

2015-16 Corporate Plan, p.19

2015-16 Portfolio Budget Statements, p.34

Result

The average wait time was 10 minutes and 58 seconds. Performance has improved when compared with performance in 2014 to 2015. The continued uptake of the department’s digital platforms has positively influenced demand on face-to-face servicing. An increase in the range of services provided in co-located service centres has also allowed the department to better manage peak service delivery loads.

Criterion

Achievement of telephony service level standards:

  • Average speed of answer

Target

The average length of time a customer waits to have a call answered through the department’s telephony services is ≤16 minutes.

Source

2015-16 Corporate Plan, p.19

2015-16 Portfolio Budget Statements, p.34

Result

The average speed of answer was 15 minutes and 9 seconds. The flexible structure of Smart Centres enables staff to move between telephony and processing based on demand. The use of surge capacity has also been effective in targeting high volume transactions.

The department also implemented a proactive strategy for Interactive Voice Response (IVR) and website messaging to better support customer contact and a new telephony platform which provides the ability to route calls more effectively. In the longer term, this system will also provide better call analytics capability, allowing the department to identify why people call and ensure more targeted messaging in IVR and social media activity.

Criterion

Achievement of processing service level standards:

  • Claims processed within standard

Target

≥82% of Social Security and Welfare claims are processed within standard.

Source

2015-16 Corporate Plan, p.20

2015-16 Portfolio Budget Statements, p.34

Result

78.5% of claims were processed within standard. A revised calculation method was adopted for 2015-16, therefore the result is not comparable to earlier years. Processing timeliness was impacted by a range of factors, including continuing high demand for services, staff attrition, and the need to mobilise staff in response to various natural disasters. Recruitment and training activity later in the year improved performance and the department continues to modernise its ICT platforms to improve productivity and performance in 2016-17.

Criterion

Internal Reviews:

  • Percentage of reviews finalised within standard

Target

≥70% of internal reviews that are finalised within the 49 day standard.

Source

2015-16 Corporate Plan, p.20

2015-16 Portfolio Budget Statements, p.35

2015-16 Portfolio Additional Estimates Statements, p.31

Result

76.5% of internal reviews were finalised within standard. On hand review numbers and the age of reviews both reduced, resulting in a significant improvement in performance when compared with 2014-2015.

Criterion

Achievement of payment integrity standards:

  • Centrelink: debt under recovery

Target

≥60% of Centrelink debt has a current debt recovery arrangement in place.

Source

2015-16 Corporate Plan, p.20

2015-16 Portfolio Budget Statements, p.35

Result

Debt recovery arrangements were in place for 63.5% of Centrelink debt. Customers who have a debt and are receiving a Centrelink payment repay debts via deductions from their ongoing entitlements. This is an automated process and constitutes the majority of outstanding debt. The department further enhanced its debt recovery effort with the Expand Debt Recovery initiative, which commenced in March 2016.

Program 1.2 - Services to the Community - Health

Criterion

Satisfaction with Medicare provider service delivery:

  • Practitioners

Target

≥70% of General Practitioners indicated that they were satisfied or neutral with the services provided. The description of the target has been updated since the 2015-16 Corporate Plan.

Source

2015-16 Corporate Plan, p.21

2015-16 Portfolio Budget Statements, p.39

Result

91% of General Practitioners indicated they were satisfied or neutral. General Practitioners indicated high levels of satisfaction for all aspects of service in general, and in particular respect for the rights and privacy of people, and accuracy of claims and payments.

Criterion

Satisfaction with Medicare provider service delivery:

  • Pharmacists

Target

≥70% of Pharmacists indicated that they were satisfied or neutral with the services provided. The description of the target has been updated since the 2015-16 Corporate Plan.

Source

2015-16 Corporate Plan, p.21

2015-16 Portfolio Budget Statements, p.39

Result

99% of pharmacists indicated they were satisfied or neutral. Pharmacists indicated very high levels of satisfaction for all aspects of service in general. The highest levels of satisfaction were respect for the rights and privacy of people, accuracy of claims and payments, accuracy of advice, and ease of understanding of information.

Criterion

Satisfaction with Medicare provider service delivery:

  • Practice managers

Target

≥70% of Practice managers indicated that they were satisfied or neutral with the services provided. The description of the target has been updated since the 2015-16 Corporate Plan.

Source

2015-16 Corporate Plan, p.21

2015-16 Portfolio Budget Statements, p.39

Result

87% of practice managers indicated they were satisfied or neutral. Practice managers indicated high levels of satisfaction with service in general and respect for the rights of people, including privacy.

Criterion

Achievement of customer satisfaction standards.

Target

≥85% of survey respondents are satisfied overall with their most recent interaction. The description of the target has been updated since the 2015-16 Corporate Plan.

Source

2015-16 Corporate Plan, p.22

2015-16 Portfolio Budget Statements, p.39

Result

77.6% of customers were satisfied. Customer satisfaction is calculated using an ongoing independent survey of a random sample of customer interactions with the department. The highest scores were provided regarding ‘Staff treated you fairly’ and ‘Staff treated you with respect’, suggesting the most satisfaction with these aspects of service delivery.

The lowest scores were provided regarding ‘Ease of service access’ and ‘Time to receive service’, suggesting the least satisfaction with these.

Criterion

Achievement of digital service level standards:

  • Medicare Benefits Schedule digital claiming rate

Target

≥96% of Medicare claimed services are lodged electronically across all digital Medicare service channels.

Source

2015-16 Corporate Plan, p.22

2015-16 Portfolio Budget Statements, p.39

Result

96.1% of Medicare claimed services were lodged electronically across all digital Medicare service channels. The department engaged extensively with practices and providers to increase their digital claiming rate.

Criterion

Achievement of digital service level standards:

  • Departmental interactions completed via digital channels

Target

≥5% increase in the total number of interactions conducted via digital channels compared to 2014 to 2015.

Source

2015-16 Corporate Plan, p.22

2015-16 Portfolio Budget Statements, p.39

Result

There was a 5.3% increase in the total number of interactions completed via digital channels compared to 2014-2015. The department is continuing to develop its digital claiming channels and electronic claiming continues to increase. The department engaged extensively with practices and providers to increase their digital claiming rate during the year. This performance measure is reaching maturity and is under review.

Criterion

Achievement of digital service level standards:

  • Availability of ICT systems that support 24/7 customer access

Target

ICT systems that support 24/7 customer access are available ≥98% of the time.

Source

2015-16 Corporate Plan, p.23

2015-16 Portfolio Budget Statements, p.39

Result

ICT systems that support 24/7 customer access were available 99.4% of the time. The systems that contributed to the achievement of the measure target demonstrated consistently strong performance.

Criterion

Achievement of payment quality standards:

  • Medicare: delivery of accurate medical benefits and services

Target

≥98% of medical benefits and services are delivered accurately.

Source

2015-16 Corporate Plan, p.23

2015-16 Portfolio Budget Statements, p.39

2015-16 Portfolio Additional Estimates Statements (PAES), p.34. The reference to pharmaceutical benefits was removed in the 2015-16 PAES. On 1 April 2015, manual intervention in the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme Claims processing system ceased. Claims processing was the only transaction within the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme in which payment quality was measured.

Result

98% of medical benefits and services were delivered accurately. Strong performance was maintained against this KPI in 2015-16. The department sought to build on its performance through addressing skills gaps across the service delivery network, including developing staff support materials and a focus on increased training and end to end processes.

Criterion

Achievement of face-to-face service level standards:

  • Average wait time

Target

The average length of time a customer waits to access face-to-face services in the department’s service centres is ≤15 minutes.

Source

2015-16 Corporate Plan, p.23

2015-16 Portfolio Budget Statements, p.39

Result

The average length of time customers waited to access face-to-face services in the department’s service centres was 8 minutes and 8 seconds. The continued uptake of Medicare digital claiming from the point of service has effectively reduced demand on face-to-face servicing. Further, an increase in the range of services provided in co-located service centres has also allowed the department to better manage peak service delivery loads.

The effective migration of claim processing through provider initiated electronic claiming at the doctor’s surgery means fewer customers need to attend a service centre to claim their rebate.

Criterion

Achievement of telephony service level standards:

  • Average speed of answer: Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) Authorities and eHealth Providers

Target

The average length of time a PBS Authorities and eHealth provider waits to have a call answered through the department’s telephony services is ≤30 seconds.

Source

2015-16 Corporate Plan, p.24

2015-16 Portfolio Budget Statements, p.39

Result

The average speed of answer was 40 seconds. Performance against this measure was affected by the transition to a new telephony system and preparation for the implementation of an online solution. A focus on improved demand management and performance in the final quarter resulted in an improved average speed of answer of 29 seconds in the April to June period.

Criterion

Achievement of telephony service level standards:

  • Average speed of answer: Providers

Target

The average length of time a health provider waits to have a call answered through the department’s telephony services is 2 minutes.

Source

2015-16 Corporate Plan, p.24

2015-16 Portfolio Budget Statements, p.39

Result

The average speed of answer was 1 minute and 27 seconds. The ongoing implementation of the department’s Service Delivery Operating Model provided flexibility and increased responsiveness to help manage call volume peaks and troughs. This was supported by the continued roll-out and enhancement of training to staff.

Criterion

Achievement of telephony service level standards:

  • Average speed of answer: Customers

Target

The average length of time a customer waits to have a call answered through the department’s telephony services is ≤7 minutes.

Source

2015-16 Corporate Plan, p.24

2015-16 Portfolio Budget Statements, p.39

Result

The average speed of answer was 6 minutes and 51 seconds. The flexible structure of Smart Centres enables staff to move between telephony and processing based on demand. Increased cross-skilling of staff across the main contact types improved customer access and assisted with reducing wait times.

Criterion

Achievement of processing service level standards:

  • Claims processed within standard

Target

≥82% of health claims are processed within standard.

Source

2015-16 Corporate Plan, p.25

2015-16 Portfolio Budget Statements, p.39

Result

99.3% of claims were processed within standard. The flexible structure of Smart Centres enables staff to move between telephony and processing based on demand. A coordinated approach to managing workloads and priorities across the department contributed to strong performance and achievement of the target.

Criterion

Achievement of payment integrity standards:

  • Medicare: Completed customer compliance cases

Target

≥300 Medicare customer compliance cases are completed.

Source

2015-16 Corporate Plan, pg.25

2015-16 Portfolio Budget Statements, pg.39

2015-16 Portfolio Additional Estimates Statements (PAES), p.34. The target was updated in the 2015–16 PAES for completed Medicare audit and review cases as a result of machinery of government changes. The figure represents Medicare public compliance cases only as provider audits and reviews were transferred to the Department of Health.

Result

1557 compliance cases were completed. The department participated in a joint strike force with the New South Wales Police. The strike force focussed on key persons of interest who were lodging false Medicare claims on their own records, the records of family members or the records of other individuals, using information obtained illegally.

Reviews were undertaken of the Medicare records identified as being compromised by the key persons of interest and the New South Wales Police are responsible for referring the matters associated with the strike force to the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions for prosecution consideration.

Program 1.3 – Services to the Community – Child Support

Criterion

Achievement of customer satisfaction standards.

Target

≥85% of survey respondents are satisfied overall with their most recent interaction. The description of the target has been updated since the 2015-16 Corporate Plan.

Source

2015-16 Corporate Plan, p.26

2015-16 Portfolio Budget Statements, p.41

Result

75.6% of customers were satisfied. Customer satisfaction is calculated using an ongoing post-call IVR survey from a random sample of customers immediately following an interaction with the department. The highest scores were provided regarding ‘The customer service officer has the knowledge and technical ability to help me’ and ‘Worked with me to resolve issue’, suggesting the most satisfaction with these aspects of service delivery.

Criterion

Achievement of digital service level standards:

  • Departmental interactions completed via digital channels

Target

≥5% increase in the total number of interactions conducted via digital channels compared to 2014–15.

Source

2015-16 Corporate Plan, p.26

2015-16 Portfolio Budget Statements, p.41

Result

There was a 13.6% increase in the total number of interactions completed via digital channels. Staff were provided with digital training to support customers to transition to digital services, leading to an increase in customers using the online system.

Criterion

Achievement of digital service level standards:

  • Availability of ICT systems that support 24/7 customer access

Target

ICT systems that support 24/7 customer access are available ≥98% of the time.

Source

2015-16 Corporate Plan, p.26

2015-16 Portfolio Budget Statements, p.41

Result

ICT systems that support 24/7 customer access were available 99.9% of the time. The systems that contributed to the achievement of the KPI target demonstrated consistently strong performance.

Criterion

Child Support collection rate (Child Support collect only).

Target

≥91.7% of all child support liabilities raised since the inception of the child support scheme that have been credited.

Source

2015-16 Corporate Plan, p.27

2015-16 Portfolio Budget Statements, p.41

Result

93.5% of all child support liabilities raised since the inception of the child support scheme have been credited. Performance remained stable during the year, reflecting the department’s ongoing focus on collecting child support in a timely way for the benefit of children.

Criterion

Percentage of domestic active paying parents with less than one month liability outstanding (Child Support collect only).

Target

≥63% domestic active paying parents in child support collect cases have less than one month liability outstanding.

Source

2015-16 Corporate Plan, p.27

2015-16 Portfolio Budget Statements, p.41

Result

65.9% of domestic active paying parents in child support collect cases have less than one month liability outstanding. Performance remained stable during the year. The department employs a range of measures to help ensure timely child support payments, such as automatic deductions from a parent’s salary and wages.

Criterion

Achievement of telephony service level standards:

  • Average speed of answer

Target

The average length of time a customer waits to have a call answered through the department’s telephony services is ≤3 minutes.

Source

2015-16 Corporate Plan, p.27

2015-16 Portfolio Budget Statements, p.41

Result

The average speed of answer was 2 minutes and 53 seconds. The flexible structure of Smart Centres enables staff to move between telephony and processing based on demand. A coordinated approach to management of workloads and priorities across the department contributed to the achievement of the target.

Criterion

Achievement of processing service level standards:

  • Claims processed within standard

Target

≥82% of Child Support claims are processed within standard.

Source

2015-16 Corporate Plan, p.28

2015-16 Portfolio Budget Statements, p.41

Result

90.6% of claims were processed within standard. The flexible structure of Smart Centres enables staff to move between telephony and processing based on demand. A coordinated approach to management of workloads and priorities across the department contributed to the achievement of the target.

Analysis of performance against Purpose

The department met 31 of its 36 performance measures in 2015-16 through the delivery of its social security and welfare, health and child support programmes. This compares with 2014-2015, when the department met 27 of its 32 performance measures.

The department achieved strong results against its service level standards for the face-to-face, telephony and digital servicing channels in 2015-16.

The department’s telephony services continued to experience significant demand. During the year, the department implemented a new telephony platform which provides the ability to route calls more effectively.

In addition, through its Smart Centres, the department continued to implement a flexible structure to move staff between telephony and processing based work to meet demand. The integration of new systems to support a range of payments during the year required the provision of increased training and the deployment of additional staff for processing of claims. These new systems are designed to simplify and improve claims processing performance.

The department continued to draw on its strong emergency management capabilities to mobilise its resources to support people and communities impacted by natural disasters, including bushfires in South Australia and Western Australia and storms and floods in New South Wales and Tasmania.

Community expectations regarding digital service delivery continue to shift and the department is developing its systems and processes to support the achievement of greater self-sufficiency. The department’s ICT platforms provided very high levels of availability to support the greater uptake of digital platforms. This, together with an increase in the range of services provided in co-located service centres allowed the department to better manage peak service delivery loads and improve face-to-face performance.

The department’s key initiatives were delivered as agreed within timeframes and on budget, noting that some measures are subject to the passage of legislation.

The department continued its work on business transformation, which includes replacing its ageing welfare payment ICT system through the implementation of Tranche 1 of the Welfare Payment Infrastructure Transformation Budget measures. This major reform aims to position the department to meet the future policy needs of the Australian Government and provide faster, more connected and automated digital services.

Consistent with government and community expectations of high standards of payment integrity, the department delivered and extended a range of payment integrity initiatives, encouraging greater voluntary compliance and detecting and pursuing fraud and non-compliance.

The department continued to improve the quality of the payments and services it delivers by streamlining and improving its processes, including its governance, project and risk management frameworks.

Page last updated: 18 November 2016

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