Annual Report 2016-17

Appendix A - Annual performance statement

Statement of preparation

I, Kathryn Campbell, as the accountable authority of the Department of Human Services, present the 2016-17 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 2016-17 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.

The department's purpose

The purpose stated in the 2016-17 Corporate Plan  was:

The department is responsible for the design, development, delivery, co-ordination and monitoring of government services, social security, child support, students, families, aged care, health programs and superannuation release to the community on behalf of the Australian Government.

The department’s purpose was updated in the 2017-18 Portfolio Budget Statements and also the 2017-18 Corporate Plan as follows:

The department delivers payments and associated services on behalf of partner agencies, and provides related advice to government on social welfare, health and child support service delivery policy.

The text of Outcome 1 has remained consistent across each year in the Appropriation Acts and in the Portfolio Budget Statements 2016-17 Budget Related Paper No. 1.15B as follows:

Support individuals, families and communities to achieve greater self-sufficiency; through the delivery of policy advice and high quality accessible social, health and child support services and other payments; and support providers and businesses through convenient and efficient service delivery.

Performance measure results

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

Table: Program 1.1 - Services to the Community - Social Security and Welfare - Performance overview
Performance measure Met

1.

Customer satisfaction: Achievement of customer satisfaction standards.

×

2.

Achievement of digital service level standards: Departmental interactions completed through digital channels.

3.

Achievement of digital service level standards: Availability of ICT systems that support 24/7 customer access.

4.

Achievement of payment quality standards: Centrelink: Delivery of correct customer payments.

5.

Key initiatives delivered as agreed within timeframes and on budget: Welfare Payment Infrastructure Transformation Budget measure.

6.

Key initiatives delivered as agreed within timeframes and on budget: Strengthening the integrity of welfare payments Budget measure.

×

7.

Key initiatives delivered as agreed within timeframes and on budget: Jobs Budget measures.

8.

Key initiatives delivered as agreed within timeframes and on budget: Families Budget measures.

9.

Key initiatives delivered as agreed within timeframes and on budget: Income Management Budget measure.

10.

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.

11.

Achievement of face-to-face service level standards: Average wait time.

12.

Achievement of telephony service level standards: Average speed of answer.

13.

Achievement of processing service level standards: Claims processed within standard.

14.

Internal reviews: Percentage of reviews finalised within standard.

15.

Achievement of payment integrity standards: Centrelink: Debt under recovery.

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

Table: Program 1.1 - Services to the Community - Social Security and Welfare
Criterion

1. Customer satisfaction: Achievement of customer satisfaction standards.

Target

≥85% of survey respondents are satisfied overall with their most recent interaction.

Method

Survey.

Rationale

The provision of customer service is a key objective of the department.

Source

2016-17 Corporate Plan, p.18 (PDF) p.21 (DOC)
2016-17 Portfolio Budget Statements, p.31

Result

Not achieved. 69.5% of customers were satisfied. The department’s highest performing attributes were ‘Fair treatment’ (89.8%) and ‘Personalised service’ (75.8%). The lowest performing attributes were ‘Time to receive service’ (46.3%) and ‘Ease of access’ (56.7%). The department continues to prioritise workloads to meet demand, streamline processes and explore self-service opportunities for recipients through our digital channels.

Criterion

2. Achievement of digital service level standards: Departmental interactions completed through digital channels.

Target

≥5% increase in the total number of interactions conducted via digital channels compared to 2015-16.

Method

Data mining. Due to online services enhancements, Social Security and Welfare recipients now view more of their details on the landing page once entering their online account. This includes seeing the status of their online claims, reminders, and when and what their next payment will be, thus reducing the number of steps required to undertake these dealings and improving the user experience. The enhancements also make it easier for recipients to access their information when using apps and have resulted in a reduction to the total number of self‑service interactions. In order to ensure an accurate comparison, those interactions that now appear on the landing page have been removed from the calculation of the performance measure. The result based on the updated calculation method was a 5.3% increase in the total number of interactions completed through digital channels, compared to a 2.8% increase based on the previous method.

Rationale

Encouraging customers into digital channels is a key objective of the department.

Source

2016-17 Corporate Plan, p.18 (PDF) p.21 (DOC)
2016-17 Portfolio Budget Statements, p.31

Result

Achieved. There was a 5.3% increase in the total number of interactions completed via digital channels. This performance measure has reached maturity and will be reviewed in 2017-18.

Criterion

3. 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.

Method

Data mining.

Rationale

Continuous access to digital claiming is a key objective of the department.

Source

2016-17 Corporate Plan, p.18 (PDF) p.21 (DOC)
2016-17 Portfolio Budget Statements, p.31

Result

Achieved. ICT systems that support 24/7 customer access were available 99.3% of the time. This can be attributed to the move to converged infrastructure and replacement of old hardware, resulting in an increase in the stability and availability of the department’s digital services.

Criterion

4. Achievement of payment quality standards: Centrelink: Delivery of correct customer payments.

Target

≥95% of Centrelink customer payments delivered correctly.

Method

Data mining.

Rationale

The delivery of high quality payments is a key objective of the department.

Source

2016-17 Corporate Plan, p.21 (PDF) p.24 (DOC)
2016-17 Portfolio Budget Statements, p.31

Result

Achieved. 98.3% of customer payments were delivered correctly.

Criterion

5. Key initiatives delivered as agreed within timeframes and on budget: Welfare Payment Infrastructure Transformation Budget measure.

Target

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

Method

Evaluation.

Rationale

Transforming the department’s ICT environment is a key objective of the department.

Source

2016-17 Corporate Plan, p.19 (PDF) p.22 (DOC)
2016-17 Portfolio Budget Statements, p.32

Result

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

The dedicated focus on delivering the Tranche One outcomes is a significant achievement. Tranche One focussed on business planning, scoping, and design work, and delivered a range of services that bolstered performance including early digital enhancements for staff and recipients, a new Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) delivery model, the selection of major commercial partners, the formation of strong governance structures and processes, and investment in the skills and capabilities to deliver the Budget measure objectives. These technological and methodological enhancements positively contributed to performance and established a strong foundation which Tranche Two deliverables are steadily building upon.

A new Chief Citizen Experience Officer has been appointed to transform user experience, and several other organisational and structural changes have strengthened our approach towards change management and workforce planning.

Performance is expected to continue to improve in Tranche Two. The department has increased its skilled workforce from Tranche One, major commercial partners have been secured and implementation of the SAFe is already delivering benefits in the ways of working to implement incremental changes for both staff and students.

One of the first SAFe projects in Tranche Two focuses on transforming student payments by processing simple claims automatically. This new payment platform will be repurposed as a template that can be applied across other welfare payments in later tranches, improving and expediting future progress and making it simpler to implement policy and legislative reforms. This will be supplemented by efforts to finalise end state design and design the Concepts of Operations for Tranches Three through to Five.

Criterion

6. Key initiatives delivered as agreed within timeframes and on budget: Strengthening the integrity of welfare payments Budget measure.

Target

The delivery of the Strengthening the integrity of welfare payments Budget measure initiatives as agreed within timeframes and on budget is achieved.

Method

Evaluation.

Rationale

The Strengthening the integrity of welfare payments Budget measure package is aimed at providing greater assurance to Australians that the integrity of taxpayer dollars is protected by reducing the impact of erroneous/fraudulent outlays.

Source

2016-17 Corporate Plan, p.20 (PDF) p.22 (DOC)
2016-17 Portfolio Budget Statements, p.32

Result

Not achieved. The Strengthening the integrity of welfare payments Budget measure consists of a package of elements aimed at providing greater assurance to Australians that the integrity of outlays is protected and reduces the risk of erroneous and fraudulent payments.

The Employment Income Matching (EIM) element transitioned to a digital solution from 1 July 2016. Individuals have been identified through existing data matching arrangements with the ATO. As part of continuous improvement, enhancements were made to the online system in February 2017. During this time it was necessary to reduce activity levels to properly test and implement the enhancements, most notably the use of registered mail.

As a result of EIM not achieving its target, the overall program status is reported as ‘not achieved’. It is expected that the achievement of savings targets will still be achieved over the full life of the measure.

Commencing 1 January 2016, the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC) element introduced an automated data match with AUSTRAC to supplement existing data acquisition and sharing arrangements. This will improve the department’s ability to identify and respond to threats to the integrity of the welfare system. An intelligence-led approach to case selection and prioritisation has targeted investigative resources towards cases that were more likely to yield greater results for the department. This element achieved its objective.

The Real Time Risk Profiling element was successfully deployed, which provides the capability to identify and intervene in potentially fraudulent or erroneous claims.

The Strengthening Obligations for Students element requires students to confirm their study loads at critical points in time such as semester changes or enrolment periods. It introduces an end-to-end process which will allow students to confirm and update their study load online. This element achieved its objective.

The Taskforce Integrity element involves the establishment and development of specialised teams dedicated to fraud and non-compliance activity. The taskforce focuses on specific geographical locations and is led by a senior AFP officer. This element achieved its objective.

Criterion

7. 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.

Method

Evaluation.

Rationale

The Jobs Budget measure package focuses on supporting the government’s agenda to implement a range of measures for job seekers.

Source

2016-17 Corporate Plan, p.20 (PDF) p.23 (DOC)
2016-17 Portfolio Budget Statements, p.32

Result

Achieved. The department’s components of the Jobs Budget measures were delivered as agreed within timeframes and on budget. The department continues to work with policy departments on updated implementation dates and budgets to ensure it is well placed to implement the measures.

The ‘Further strengthening job seeker compliance’, ‘Increasing the age of eligibility for Newstart Allowance and Sickness Allowance’ and ‘Revised waiting period for Youth income support’ elements of this measure are not proceeding due to legislation not being passed.

Criterion

8. 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.

Method

Evaluation.

Rationale

The Families Budget measure package focuses on supporting the government’s agenda to implement a range of measures across Families and Child Care programs.

Source

2016-17 Corporate Plan, p.20 (PDF) p.23 (DOC)
2016-17 Portfolio Budget Statements, p.32

Result

Achieved. The Families Budget measures were delivered as agreed within timeframes and on budget. Implementation of the ‘Better Targeting of Parental Leave Pay’ element of the measure is not proceeding.

The ‘Cessation of the Large Family Supplement (LFS)’ measure was implemented in July 2016.

Criterion

9. Key initiatives delivered as agreed within timeframes and on budget: Income Management Budget measure.

Target

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

Method

Evaluation.

Rationale

The Income Management Budget measures will help customers manage their money to meet essential household needs and expenses.

Source

2016-17 Corporate Plan, p.21 (PDF) p.23 (DOC)
2016-17 Portfolio Budget Statements, p.32

Result

Achieved. The Income Management Budget measure was delivered as agreed within timeframes and on budget. This measure has resulted in more streamlined and automated Income Management processes.

Criterion

10. 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.

Method

Data mining.

Rationale

The delivery of high quality payments is a key objective of the department.

Source

2016-17 Corporate Plan, p.22 (PDF) p.24 (DOC)
2016-17 Portfolio Budget Statements, p.32

Result

Achieved. 99.1% of payments were delivered correctly. Well‑designed workflows and procedures for the processing of these claims has had a large impact on assessment outcomes. These resources are supporting staff make correct decisions and assessments.

Having highly skilled staff in Remote Service Centres, Remote Servicing Teams and Remote and ABSTUDY Smart Centres has a positive bearing on assessment outcomes for Indigenous Australians in remote communities where issues with literacy and numeracy can present barriers to dealing with Centrelink forms and processes.

Criterion

11. Achievement of face-to-face service level standards: Average wait time.

Target

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

Method

Data mining.

Rationale

The provision of customer service is a key objective of the department.

Source

2016-17 Corporate Plan, p.19 (PDF) p.21 (DOC)
2016-17 Portfolio Budget Statements, p.32

Result

Achieved. The average wait time was 12 minutes and 4 seconds. The continued improvement in the department’s digital channels has resulted in a reduction to the volume of paper claims lodged in service centres.

Criterion

12. Achievement of telephony service level standards: Average speed of answer.

Target

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

Method

Data mining.

Rationale

The provision of customer service is a key objective of the department.

Source

2016-17 Corporate Plan, p.19 (PDF) p.22 (DOC)
2016-17 Portfolio Budget Statements, p.33

Result

Achieved. The average speed of answer was 15 minutes and 44 seconds. The department actively managed its resources to meet the performance measure target. During 2016-17, the department committed substantial resources to other pieces of work, such as supporting the NDIA and the department’s response to Tropical Cyclone Debbie.

Criterion

13. Achievement of processing service level standards: Claims processed within standard.

Target

≥82% of claims processed within standard.

Method

Data mining.

Rationale

The provision of customer service is a key objective of the department.

Source

2016-17 Corporate Plan, p.22 (PDF) p.24 (DOC)
2016-17 Portfolio Budget Statements, p.33

Result

Achieved. 82.1% of claims were processed within standard. The department actively managed its resources to meet the performance measure target.

The movement of 160 full time equivalent staff from Smart Centres to the National Disability Insurance Agency Taskforce from September 2016 and the department’s support for people affected by Tropical Cyclone Debbie impacted claims processing performance.

Criterion

14. Internal reviews: Percentage of reviews finalised within standard.

Target

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

Method

Data mining.

Rationale

Finalising reviews within agreed timeframes is a key objective of the department.

Source

2016-17 Corporate Plan, p.22 (PDF) p.24 (DOC)
2016-17 Portfolio Budget Statements, p.33

Result

Achieved. 74.5% of internal reviews were finalised within standard. The department focused on effectively managing work on hand and decreasing the number of cases over 49 days old.

Criterion

15. Achievement of payment integrity standards: Centrelink: Debt under recovery.

Target

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

Method

Data mining.

Rationale

Reducing the number and value of debts is a key objective of the department.

Source

2016-17 Corporate Plan, p.21 (PDF) p.23 (DOC)
2016-17 Portfolio Budget Statements, p.33

Result

Achieved. Debt recovery arrangements were in place for 61.8% of Centrelink debt. Customers who have a debt and are receiving a Centrelink payment repay their debt via deductions from their ongoing entitlements. This is an automated process and constitutes the majority of outstanding debt.

The department has initiated the following strategies to assist in increasing the recovery of outstanding debt to the Commonwealth:

  • the recruitment of an additional 140 non ongoing recovery staff
  • enhancement of the online ‘money you owe’ functionality, enabling non-current customers to make debt repayment arrangements via online channels, and
  • the introduction of outbound dialler technology which enables staff to use their time more effectively.

Program 1.2 - Services to the Community - Health - Performance overview

Table: Program 1.2 - Services to the Community - Health - Performance overview
Performance measure Met

1.

Satisfaction with Medicare provider service delivery: Practitioners.

2.

Satisfaction with Medicare provider service delivery: Pharmacists.

3.

Satisfaction with Medicare provider service delivery: Practice managers.

4.

Customer satisfaction: Achievement of customer satisfaction standards.

×

5.

Achievement of digital service level standards: Medicare Benefits Schedule digital claiming rate.

6.

Achievement of digital service level standards: Departmental interactions completed via digital channels.

7.

Achievement of digital service level standards: Availability of ICT systems that support 24/7 customer access.

8.

Achievement of payment quality standards: Medicare: Delivery of accurate medical benefits and services.

9.

Achievement of face-to-face service level standards: Average wait time.

10.

Achievement of telephony service level standards - Average speed of answer: Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme Authorities and My Health Record Providers.

×

11.

Achievement of telephony service level standards - Average speed of answer: Providers.

12.

Achievement of telephony service level standards - Average speed of answer: Customers.

13.

Achievement of processing service level standards: Claims processed within standard.

14.

Achievement of payment integrity standards: Medicare: Completed interventions with customers for compliance purposes.

Program 1.2 - Services to the Community - Health

Criterion

1. Satisfaction with Medicare provider service delivery: Practitioners.

Target

≥70% of General Practitioners are satisfied or neutral with the services provided.

Method

Survey.

Rationale

The provision of provider services is a key objective of the department.

Source

2016-17 Corporate Plan, p.24 (PDF) p.26 (DOC)
2016-17 Portfolio Budget Statements, p.34

Result

Achieved. 89.0% of General Practitioners indicated that they were satisfied or neutral. General Practitioners indicated a high level of satisfaction with ‘How Medicare respects the rights of people’ and with the ‘Accuracy of claims and payments’.

Criterion

2. Satisfaction with Medicare provider service delivery: Pharmacists.

Target

≥70% of pharmacists are satisfied or neutral with the services provided.

Method

Survey.

Rationale

The provision of provider services is a key objective of the department.

Source

2016-17 Corporate Plan, p.24 (PDF) p.26 (DOC)
2016-17 Portfolio Budget Statements, p.34

Result

Achieved. 94.0% of pharmacists indicated they were satisfied or neutral. Pharmacists indicated the highest satisfaction ratings for ‘Respect for the rights of people’, ‘Accuracy of claims and payments’, ‘Accuracy of information advice’ and ‘Ease of understanding information provided’.

Criterion

3. Satisfaction with Medicare provider service delivery: Practice managers.

Target

≥70% of practice managers are satisfied or neutral with the services provided.

Method

Survey.

Rationale

The provision of provider services is a key objective of the department.

Source

2016-17 Corporate Plan, p.24 (PDF) p.26 (DOC)
2016-17 Portfolio Budget Statements, p.34

Result

Achieved. 82.0% of practice managers indicated they were satisfied or neutral. Practice managers indicated a high level of satisfaction with ‘Respect for the rights of people’ and ‘Accuracy of claims and payments’.

Criterion

4. Customer satisfaction: Achievement of customer satisfaction standards.

Target

≥85% of survey respondents are satisfied overall with their most recent interaction.

Method

Survey.

Rationale

The provision of customer service is a key objective of the department.

Source

2016-17 Corporate Plan, p.25 (PDF) p.26 (DOC)
2016-17 Portfolio Budget Statements, p.34

Result

Not achieved. 81.7% of customers were satisfied. The highest performing attributes were ‘Fair treatment’ (93.3%) and ‘Communication’ (89.6%). The lowest performing attributes were ‘Time to receive service’ (69.2%) and ‘Ease of access’ (75.8%).

For 2017-18, the customer satisfaction program for Health will be reviewed with the aim to better reflect the current service model.

Criterion

5. 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.

Method

Data mining.

Rationale

Encouraging digital claiming is a key objective of the department.

Source

2016-17 Corporate Plan, p.25 (PDF) p.27 (DOC)
2016-17 Portfolio Budget Statements, p.34

Result

Achieved. 97.1% of Medicare claimed services were lodged electronically across all digital Medicare service channels. The department continues to engage extensively with practices, health professionals and the medical software industry to increase the rate of digital Medicare claiming.

Criterion

6. 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 2015-16.

Method

Data mining.

Rationale

Encouraging digital claiming is a key objective of the department.

Source

2016-17 Corporate Plan, p.25 (PDF) p.27 (DOC)
2016-17 Portfolio Budget Statements, p.34

Result

Achieved. There was a 6.2% increase in the total number of interactions completed via digital channels compared to 2015-16. The department continues to engage extensively with medical practices and health providers to increase the take up and usage of our digital services. This performance measure has reached maturity and will be reviewed in 2017-18.

Criterion

7. 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.

Method

Data mining.

Rationale

Continuous access to digital claiming is a key objective of the department.

Source

2016-17 Corporate Plan, p.26 (PDF) p.27 (DOC)
2016-17 Portfolio Budget Statements, p.35

Result

Achieved. ICT systems that support 24/7 customer access were available 99.4% of the time. The move to converged infrastructure and replacement of old hardware has shown an increase in the stability and availability of the department’s digital services which underpin this performance measure.

Criterion

8. Achievement of payment quality standards: Medicare: Delivery of accurate medical benefits and services.

Target

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

Method

Data mining. The calculation methodology was expanded in 2016-17 to include all transactions so as to reflect the full range of activity. The previous methodology was limited to manual transactions notwithstanding that the large majority of transactions have now moved to online channels. A review in 2016 noted that the percentage of total transactions involving some form of manual intervention was less than 10% (ranging from 5-7%). This had the effect of overestimating the error rates across the full population and measuring only a small subset of transactions. The result based on the updated calculation method was 99.1% of medical benefits and services delivered accurately, compared to 97.9% based on the previous method.

Rationale

The delivery of accurate medical benefits and services is a key objective of the department.

Source

2016-17 Corporate Plan, p.27 (PDF) p.28 (DOC)
2016-17 Portfolio Budget Statements, p.35

Result

Achieved. 99.1% of medical benefits and services were delivered accurately. The department continues to invest in its people, ensuring that they have the necessary skills to meet this performance measure. This includes the implementation of a Medicare Quality Control Strategy that is consistent with the department’s National Quality Framework.

Criterion

9. 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.

Method

Data mining.

Rationale

The provision of customer service is a key objective of the department.

Source

2016-17 Corporate Plan, p.26 (PDF) p.27 (DOC)
2016-17 Portfolio Budget Statements, p.35

Result

Achieved. The average wait time was 10 minutes and 31 seconds. The continued service offer by front-of-house staff to assist claimants to lodge online and the electronic lodgement of claims at doctor’s surgeries continue to have a positive impact on wait times.

The lodgement of paper claims in service centres continues to prevent further reductions in wait times.

Criterion

10. Achievement of telephony service level standards - Average speed of answer: Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme Authorities and My Health Record Providers.

Target

The average length of time a PBS Authority or My Health Record provider waits to have a call answered through the department’s telephony services is ≤30 seconds.

Method

Data mining.

Rationale

The provision of customer service is a key objective of the department.

Source

2016-17 Corporate Plan, p.26 (PDF) p.28 (DOC)
2016-17 Portfolio Budget Statements, p.35
References to ‘eHealth Providers’ in the 2016-17 Portfolio Budget Statements were updated to ‘My Health Record Providers’ in the 2016-17 Corporate Plan.

Result

Not achieved. The average speed of answer was 40 seconds. There was pressure placed on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) Authorities line across the year due to low take up of the Online PBS Authorities system. Additional staff have been trained in PBS Authorities and Irregular and Intermittent Employees have been deployed to provide greater coverage across other provider phone lines to free up skilled PBS Authorities staff.
The department is working to increase the uptake of the Online PBS Authorities channel by:

  • identifying and prioritising key prescribing products that need to be integrated, and support software developers to build, test and release the functionality in these products
  • identifying and targeting high frequency PBS Authority prescribers to use the current functionality available through Health Professional Online Services (HPOS), while they await integration into their prescribing product
  • working with the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee to ensure it fully considers the online approach when recommending and setting listing rules for new drugs, and
  • working with the Department of Health to ensure continued support of the online assessment approach and to re-evaluate the authority levels of medicines

The department is also working to reduce calls to the PBS Authorities telephone line by providing effective and consistent education and training to providers to eliminate authority requests when they are not required.

Criterion

11. Achievement of telephony service level standards - Average speed of answer: Providers.

Target

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

Method

Data mining.

Rationale

The provision of customer service is a key objective of the department.

Source

2016-17 Corporate Plan, p.27 (PDF) p.28 (DOC)
2016-17 Portfolio Budget Statements, p.35

Result

Achieved. The average speed of answer was 1 minute and 56 seconds. Recruitment and increased training across all telephony staff has resulted in increased flexibility and responsiveness to peaks and troughs in call volumes.

Criterion

12. 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.

Method

Data mining.

Rationale

The provision of customer service is a key objective of the department.

Source

2016-17 Corporate Plan, p.27 (PDF) p.28 (DOC)
2016-17 Portfolio Budget Statements, p.35

Result

Achieved. The average speed of answer was 6 minutes and 34 seconds. The introduction of Managed Telephony Services (MTS) and increased training across all telephony staff has resulted in increased flexibility and responsiveness to peaks and troughs in call volumes.

Criterion

13. Achievement of processing service level standards: Claims processed within standard.

Target

≥82% of claims processed within standard.

Method

Data mining.

Rationale

The provision of customer service is a key objective of the department.

Source

2016-17 Corporate Plan, p.28 (PDF) p.29 (DOC)
2016-17 Portfolio Budget Statements, p.35

Result

Achieved. 95.4% of claims were processed within standard. The implementation of the Genesys Workforce Management (GWFM) solution and MTS, together with staff recruitment and improved training programs, has resulted in increased flexibility and responsiveness to workload peaks and troughs. A coordinated approach to managing workloads and priorities across the business has contributed to strong performance and achievement of the target.

Criterion

14. Achievement of payment integrity standards: Medicare: Completed interventions with customers for compliance purposes.

Target

≥300 interventions with customers for compliance purposes are completed.

Method

Data mining.

Rationale

Protecting the integrity and accuracy of health payments to members of the public and addressing risks of non-compliance are key objectives of the department.

Source

2016-17 Corporate Plan, p.28 (PDF) p.29 (DOC)
2016-17 Portfolio Budget Statements, p.36

Result

Achieved. 499 Medicare customer compliance interventions were completed.

The department retained responsibility for Medicare customer compliance activities after Machinery of Government changes.

Strong results were achieved by introducing alternative interventions to manage cases that are deemed to not meet the case selection and prioritisation guidelines for prosecution, however, a form of intervention is required. These alternative interventions included lower risk reviews that resulted in raising debts, issuing warning letters and remediating customer records. As a result, a large volume of Claiming Medicare Benefit Online compliance cases were completed.

Program 1.3 - Child Support - Performance overview

Table: Program 1.3 - Child Support – Performance overview
Performance measure Met

1.

Customer satisfaction: Achievement of customer satisfaction standards.

×

2.

Achievement of digital service level standards: Departmental interactions completed via digital channels.

3.

Achievement of digital service level standards: Availability of ICT systems that support 24/7 customer access.

4.

Child Support collection: Child Support collection rate (Child Support collect only).

5.

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

6.

Achievement of telephony service level standards: Average speed of answer.

×

7.

Achievement of processing service level standards: Claims processed within standard.

Program 1.3 - Child Support

Criterion

1. Customer satisfaction: Achievement of customer satisfaction standards.

Target

≥85% of survey respondents are satisfied overall with their most recent interaction.

Method

Survey.

Rationale

The provision of customer service is a key objective of the department.

Source

2016-17 Corporate Plan, p.29 (PDF) p.31 (DOC)
2016-17 Portfolio Budget Statements, p.37

Result

Not achieved. 84.9% of customers were satisfied. The highest performing attributes were ‘Fair treatment’ (92.8%) and ‘Communication’ (90.4%). The lowest performing attributes were ‘Time to receive service’ (75.0%) and ‘Ease of access’ (77.1%).

Criterion

2. 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 2015-16.

Method

Data mining.

Rationale

Encouraging digital claiming is a key objective of the department.

Source

2016-17 Corporate Plan, p.29 (PDF) p.31 (DOC)
2016-17 Portfolio Budget Statements, p.37

Result

Achieved. There was a 5.0% increase in the total number of interactions completed via digital channels compared to 2015-16. A review of Child Support Online Account reporting has identified opportunities for further improvement. This performance measure has reached maturity and will be reviewed in 2017-18.

Criterion

3. 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.

Method

Data mining.

Rationale

Continuous access to digital claiming is a key objective of the department.

Source

2016-17 Corporate Plan, p.30 (PDF) p.31 (DOC)
2016-17 Portfolio Budget Statements, p.37

Result

Achieved. ICT systems that support 24/7 customer access were available 99.5% of the time. The move to converged infrastructure and replacement of old hardware has shown an increase to the stability and availability of the department’s digital services which underpin this performance measure.

Criterion

4. Child Support collection: 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 have been credited.

Method

Data mining.

Rationale

Ensuring that child support is transferred in a timely fashion for the benefit of children is a key objective of the department.

Source

2016-17 Corporate Plan, p.31 (PDF) p.32 (DOC)
2016-17 Portfolio Budget Statements, p.37

Result

Achieved. 93.7% 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

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

Target

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

Method

Data mining.

Rationale

Ensuring that child support is transferred in a timely fashion for the benefit of children is a key objective of the department.

Source

2016-17 Corporate Plan, p.31 (PDF) p.32 (DOC)
2016-17 Portfolio Budget Statements, p.37

Result

Achieved. 66.0% 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

6. 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.

Method

Data mining.

Rationale

The provision of customer service is a key objective of the department.

Source

2016-17 Corporate Plan, p.30 (PDF) p.31 (DOC)
2016-17 Portfolio Budget Statements, p.38

Result

Not achieved. The average speed of answer was 4 minutes and 12 seconds. Higher than forecast customer demand and the transition to the new Child Support IT system have impacted performance and required extensive training for staff.
Performance is expected to improve in 2017-18 with increased productivity and proficiency with the new Child Support IT system.

Criterion

7. Achievement of processing service level standards: Claims processed within standard.

Target

≥82% of claims processed within standard.

Method

Data mining.

Rationale

The provision of customer service is a key objective of the department.

Source

2016-17 Corporate Plan, p.31 (PDF) p.32 (DOC)
2016-17 Portfolio Budget Statements, p.38

Result

Achieved. 83.0% of claims were processed within standard. The department was able to meet this performance measure target during a period of training investment in the new Child Support IT system.
Handle times for both telephony and processing were impacted while staff become familiar with the new IT system and processes.

Analysis of performance against purpose

The department met 30 of its 36 performance measures in 2016-17 through the delivery of its social security and welfare, health and child support programs.

Strong demand for our services

The department achieved consistent results against its service level standards for its face-to-face, telephony and digital servicing channels in 2016-17. During the year the department handled around 52 million phone calls, 19 million visits to our service centres and over 700 million digital and online transactions through our mobile apps, online and phone self-service.

To meet the demand, the department used the flexible structure of its Smart Centres to move staff between telephony and processing-based work. The integration of new and improved systems to support a range of payments required increased training and development for staff that process claims. These systems are designed to simplify and improve claims processing performance.

Digital services

Community expectations regarding digital service delivery continue to evolve and the department is designing its systems and processes to support the achievement of greater self-sufficiency. The department’s ICT platforms that support uninterrupted access were available over 99 per cent of the time, supporting greater uptake of digital services. This, together with an increase in the range of services provided in service centres, allowed the department to better manage peak service delivery loads and improve face-to-face performance.

Delivery

The majority of the department’s key initiatives were delivered as agreed within timeframes and on budget. Some measures did not proceed as they were subject to the passage of legislation.

The department is committed to ensuring that only people eligible receive welfare and other payments, and that they get the correct amount. As part of the Strengthening the integrity of welfare payments Budget measure, the implementation of the online compliance initiative received significant public reaction. In response to feedback, important enhancements were made. During this time it was necessary to reduce the volume of reviews to thoroughly test and implement enhancements. This meant that some of the budgeted savings will be realised in the forward years.

Consistent with government and community expectations of high standards of payment integrity, the department introduced a self-service digital solution for compliance interventions. The digital solution enables people to confirm their employment income information online in the event of a discrepancy. The development of this solution reinforced the importance of how the department engages with recipients during the design of services, and how services need to be designed to support greater self-sufficiency.

The department continued its work on business transformation, which includes replacing its ageing welfare payment ICT system through the implementation of Tranche One of the WPIT 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. As a result of this work, for example, students can now track claim progress through myGov or the Centrelink Express Plus mobile app. The implementation of improved business processes has also resulted in significant improvements for students claiming Youth Allowance or Austudy. Under the new processes, which reject incomplete claims or those that do not meet basic eligibility criteria, processing time has been cut by almost half, whilst also reducing the need for people to contact the department.

Page last updated: 14 November 2017