Annual Report 2017-18

Performance measure results - Social Security and Welfare

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

Performance measure Met

1. Customer satisfaction: Achievement of customer satisfaction standards.

No

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

Yes

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

Yes

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

Yes

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

Yes

6. Key initiatives delivered as agreed within timeframes and on budget: Strengthening the Integrity of Welfare Payments Budget measure.

Yes

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

Yes

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

Yes

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

Yes

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.

Yes

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

Yes

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

Yes

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

Yes

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

Yes

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

No

Criterion 1. Customer satisfaction: Achievement of customer satisfaction standards

Details 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

2017–18 Corporate Plan, page 6
2017–18 Portfolio Budget Statements, page 35

Results

Not achieved. 75.2% of customers were satisfied. This represents an improvement of 5.7 percentage points over the result for 2016–17. The department’s highest performing attributes were ‘fair treatment’ (91.3%) and ‘communication’ (83.2%). The lowest performing attributes continue to be ‘time to receive service’ (55.5%) and ‘ease of access’ (66.6%).

Year Performance Yearly change Result

2017–18

75.2%

5.7%

Not achieved

2016–17

69.5%

2.7%

Not achieved

2015–16

66.8%

–3.5%

Not achieved

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

Details 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 with 2016–17.

Method

Data mining.

Rationale

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

Source

2017–18 Corporate Plan, page 6
2017–18 Portfolio Budget Statements, page 35

Notes

This performance measure commenced in 2015–16.

Results

Achieved. There was a 6.6% increase in the total number of interactions completed through digital channels. The department made significant improvements in moving letters online and electronic data interchange. In addition, there were a range of measures and activities occurring across the department to improve the levels of digital servicing and customer trust in digital channels.
At this time, not all transactions can be completed online, requiring some customers to be diverted back into staff-assisted channels. This makes it difficult for the department to re-engage customers digitally. The department continues to investigate making targeted improvements to its self service products.

Year Performance Yearly change Result

2017–18

6.6%

N/A

Achieved

2016–17

5.3%

N/A

Achieved

2015–16

21.3%

N/A

Achieved

Criterion 3. Achievement of digital service level standards: Availability of ICT systems that support 24/7 customer access

Details 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

2017–18 Corporate Plan, page 6
2017–18 Portfolio Budget Statements, page 35

Notes

This performance measure commenced in 2015–16.

Results

Achieved. ICT systems that support 24/7 customer access were available 99.1% of the time.
This continued strong result can be attributed to modernisation of the technologies used to provide departmental services and migration off old technology to the current industry standard.

Year Performance Yearly change Result

2017–18

99.1%

–0.2%

Achieved

2016–17

99.3%

1.3%

Achieved

2015–16

98.0%

N/A

Achieved

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

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

Target

≥95% of Centrelink customer payments delivered correctly.

Method

Random sample surveys.

Rationale

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

Source

2017–18 Corporate Plan, page 6
2017–18 Portfolio Budget Statements, page 35

Results

Achieved. 98.5% of Centrelink customer payments were delivered correctly. This represents a 0.2% improvement over the result for 2016–17.

Year Performance Yearly change Result

2017–18

98.5%

0.2%

Achieved

2016–17

98.3%

–0.1%

Achieved

2015–16

98.4%

0.3%

Achieved

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

Details 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

2017–18 Corporate Plan, page 7
2017–18 Portfolio Budget Statements, page 35

Results

Achieved. The Welfare Payment Infrastructure Transformation (WPIT) Budget measure initiatives were delivered as agreed within timeframes and on budget.
The WPIT Programme has adopted the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) delivery model, which has been successfully applied to large transformative programmes in other service delivery organisations. In the WPIT Programme, the Students Transformation project has been successfully managed using the SAFe methodology, delivering many enhancements to the student online claim question set, developing straight-through processing capability and improving multiple digital services for students.

Year Performance Yearly change Result

2017–18

Achieved

N/A

Achieved

2016–17

Achieved

N/A

Achieved

2015–16

Achieved

N/A

Achieved

Criterion 6. Key initiatives delivered as agreed within timeframes and on budget: Strengthening the Integrity of Welfare Payments Budget measure

Details 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

2017–18 Corporate Plan, page 7
2017–18 Portfolio Budget Statements, page 35

Results

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 department is funded to undertake income data matching reviews through a range of measures, including through the Strengthening the Integrity of Welfare Payments Budget measure, until 2021–22. The income data matching elements of the Strengthening the Integrity of Welfare Payments Budget measure are administered by the department as a single program with other income data matching measures and are reported on a consolidated basis. The savings achieved for all income data matching measures are approximately:

  • $401 million in 2015–16.
  • $324 million in 2016–17.
  • $405 million in 2017–18.

The department has successfully deployed an automated data-sharing platform that will improve data sharing between the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre and the department. This has strengthened the department’s capability to identify and respond to threats to the integrity of the welfare system. It also enables the department to target investigative resources towards cases that are more likely to yield greater results.
The deployment of the ‘Real Time Risk Profiling’ element has strengthened the department’s control framework. This has strengthened the department’s capability to identify and intervene in potentially fraudulent or erroneous claims before they go into payment.

The ‘Strengthening Obligations for Students’ element allows students to confirm their study loads online at critical points in time such as semester changes or enrolment periods. This approach prompts students to respond at periods where they were most likely to have a change in study load.

The Taskforce Integrity element involves the establishment of specialised teams dedicated to fraud and non-compliance activity. The taskforce focuses on specific geographical locations with a higher risk of non-compliance and welfare fraud. In 2017–18, Taskforce Integrity conducted activity in eight locations. Taskforce activity includes a highly visible strategy including localised media, administrative compliance reviews, and full fraud investigations for high-risk individuals. Taskforce Integrity conducted 16,221 reviews this year compared to 13,595 in 2016–17.

Year Performance Yearly change Result

2017–18

Achieved

N/A

Achieved

2016–17

Not achieved

N/A

Not achieved

2015–16

Achieved

N/A

Achieved

Criterion 7. Key initiatives delivered as agreed within timeframes and on budget: Jobs Budget measures

Details 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

2017–18 Corporate Plan, page 7
2017–18 Portfolio Budget Statements, page 36

Results

Achieved. The department’s components of the Jobs Budget measures were delivered as agreed within timeframes and on Budget. Four of the measures were achieved in 2016–17 and the remaining three measures are no longer proceeding.
The ‘Further strengthening the 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 did not proceed due to legislation not being passed.

Year Performance Yearly change Result

2017–18

Achieved

N/A

Achieved

2016–17

Achieved

N/A

Achieved

2015–16

Achieved

N/A

Achieved

Criterion 8. Key initiatives delivered as agreed within timeframes and on budget: Families Budget measures

Details 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

2017–18 Corporate Plan, page 8
2017–18 Portfolio Budget Statements, page 36

Results

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

Year Performance Yearly change Result

2017–18

Achieved

N/A

Achieved

2016–17

Achieved

N/A

Achieved

2015–16

Achieved

N/A

Achieved

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

Details 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 measure will help customers manage their money to meet essential household needs and expenses.

Source

2017–18 Corporate Plan, page 8
2017–18 Portfolio Budget Statements, page 36

Results

Achieved. The Income Management Budget measure was successfully delivered as agreed within timeframes and on budget.

Year Performance Yearly change Result

2017–18

Achieved

N/A

Achieved

2016–17

Achieved

N/A

Achieved

2015–16

Achieved

N/A

Achieved

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

Details 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

Random sample surveys.

Rationale

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

Source

2017–18 Corporate Plan, page 8
2017–18 Portfolio Budget Statements, page 36

Results

Achieved. 99.1% of payments were delivered correctly. Ensuring that the department has well-designed workflows and procedures for processing claims is supporting staff to make correct decisions and assessments. Having highly skilled staff in Remote Service Centres, Remote Servicing Teams, and Remote and ABSTUDY Smart Centres has helped to reduce barriers for Indigenous Australians in remote communities to interact with the department.

Year Performance Yearly change Result

2017–18

99.1%

No change

Achieved

2016–17

99.1%

–0.2%

Achieved

2015–16

99.3%

0.4%

Achieved

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

Details 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

2017–18 Corporate Plan, page 8
2017–18 Portfolio Budget Statements, page 36

Results

Achieved. The average wait time was 14 minutes and 49 seconds. While there has been an increase in the average wait time, the following work has helped the department to continue to meet the target.
Implementation of workload process improvements have improved staff capability to manage workload and customer demand. Integration of the Customer First Front-of-House Application has provided a more accurate data source for the measurement of service centre traffic.
Management of new initiatives such as the Child Care Subsidy through notification mediums like push notifications have reduced potential peaks in average wait times through pro-active customer management.

Year Performance Yearly change Result

2017–18

14 minutes
29 seconds

2 minutes
25 seconds

Achieved

2016–17

12 minutes
4 seconds

1 minute
6 seconds

Achieved

2015–16

10 minutes
58 seconds

–1 minute
20 seconds

Achieved

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

Details 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

2017–18 Corporate Plan, page 9
2017–18 Portfolio Budget Statements, page 36

Results

Achieved. The average speed of answer was 15 minutes and 58 seconds. The department has been actively implementing the recommendations and findings of the independent expert in call centre operations and telephony optimisation, in order to increase capacity and improve the technical functioning of the department’s telephony platform.
Successfully managing a blended workforce of ongoing and non-ongoing full-time and part-time, contract and labour hire staff has assisted the department’s ability to meet the target.
Working with a service delivery partner has been an effective way to respond to demand. It increased the department’s capacity to manage surge, emergency responses and other government business.

Year Performance Yearly change Result

2017–18

15 minutes
58 seconds

14 seconds

Achieved

2016–17

15 minutes
44 seconds

35 seconds

Achieved

2015–16

15 minutes
9 seconds

–31 seconds

Achieved

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

Details 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

2017–18 Corporate Plan, page 9
2017–18 Portfolio Budget Statements, page 36

Results

Achieved. 82.1% of claims were processed within service level standards, as agreed with partner agencies. The department actively managed demand across channels, allocating staff to target work in the different channels to achieve departmental outcomes.
The department is committed to transforming the delivery of welfare payments and making it easier for people to claim online. The department is transforming the processing system, with more payments and services moving from old technology into new platforms. Enhancements are being made to the digital channel, which is affecting the customer experience through improved online claiming and reduced touch points. Enhancements include:

  • Upfront advice about eligibility, allowing claimants to evaluate if they are unlikely to qualify.
  • The ability for claimants to monitor the progress of their claims.
  • Reusing information already at hand, making it easier to claim.

The current calculation for processing timeliness includes time outside the department’s control such as requesting documentation. The ability to influence customer behaviour and have information returned in a timely manner remains a challenge for the department despite innovations in this area, including a claim tracker and SMS reminders.

Year Performance Yearly change Result

2017–18

82.1%

No change

Achieved

2016–17

82.1%

3.6%

Achieved

2015–16

78.5%

–6.1%

Not achieved

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

Details 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

2017–18 Corporate Plan, page 9

2017–18 Portfolio Budget Statements, page 36

Results

Achieved. 97.1% of internal reviews were finalised within standard. The department focused on managing work on hand and ensuring reviews are progressed in a timely manner.

Year Performance Yearly change Result

2017–18

97.1%

22.6%

Achieved

2016–17

74.5%

–2.0%

Achieved

2015–16

76.5%

11.1%

Achieved

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

Details 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

2017–18 Corporate Plan, page 9
2017–18 Portfolio Budget Statements, page 37

Results

Not achieved. Debt recovery arrangements were in place for 59% of Centrelink debt. The department continued to progress strategies under the 2015–16 Mid-Year Economic Fiscal Outlook measures, enhancing debt recovery capacity to utilise the full extent of powers contained within existing legislation for pursuing recovery of welfare debts.

These strategies include the Expand Debt Recovery Measure package, which aims to improve the effectiveness of the department in recovering debt from former customers. The measure delivered increased resourcing for the department to be proactive in using the full range of its existing debt recovery powers, including litigation, and garnishee from wages, bank accounts and tax returns.
The department also implemented legislative amendments to introduce departure prohibition orders to prevent targeted social welfare debtors from leaving the country, to encourage repayment of their debt, and the removal of the six-year statute of limitations on the recovery of social welfare debts.

Several factors impacted on debt recovery performance throughout the year including:

  • The annual Family Assistance Office non-lodger process was brought forward, resulting in debts being raised for recipients (and applicable partners) who had not lodged an income tax return or advised the department that they were not required to lodge for the 2015–16 financial year.
  • The cessation of debt recovery activities, including outbound recovery action and referral to External Collection Agents for debts for persons located in areas impacted by Tropical Cyclone Debbie.
  • The Employment Income Confirmation service recovery strategy resulted in applicable outstanding debts being recalled from external collection agents.
  • There was a pause in debt raising and recovery activity over the Christmas period.
  • Additional contact requirements associated with the planned implementation of the Interest Charge measure, increased the use of collection agents, which affected performance, as debts under arrangement with collection agents are not included in the calculation of this measure.
Year Performance Yearly change Result

2017–18

59.0%

–2.8%

Not achieved

2016–17

61.8%

–1.7%

Achieved

2015–16

63.5%

No change

Achieved

This information was printed Monday 27 May 2019 from https://www.humanservices.gov.au/organisations/about-us/annual-reports/annual-report-2017-18/part-5-report-performance/performance-measure-results-social-security-and-welfare It may not include all of the relevant information on this topic. Please consider any relevant site notices at https://www.humanservices.gov.au/individuals/site-notices when using this material.

Page last updated: 17 April 2019