D. Centrelink Service Delivery
- D1. Enhanced Information Technology Capability
- D2. Centrelink Rural Call Centres - Continuation of Funding
D1. Enhanced Information Technology Capability
1 July 2003 to 30 June 2008.
The Government will invest $312 million over five years to ensure ongoing reliability of Centrelink IT systems and to create new opportunities for improved service delivery.
Expansion of Centrelink's IT capability will:
- Contribute to a broader stable government infrastructure that could be used by other government agencies;
- Provide increased payment accuracy through greater automated data matching and information exchange capability;
- Ease doing business with government for organisations in the community and private sector; and
- Provide greater self-service online options for customers.
The measure builds upon Centrelink's proven mainframe IT system by adding modern internet and telephone technologies. By taking advantage of new technologies Centrelink will be more efficient in implementing new policies and be able to offer Government more service delivery options. More efficient Centrelink operations are expected to save $77.2 million over four years and improved electronic data validation is expected to reduce program outlays by $126.6 million over four years.
Centrelink customers will receive a more seamless service and access information and services more quickly. Greater on-line access to a customer's own data will replicate service currently offered by other modern large service organisations.
Rural and regional customers will receive greater electronic access to a wider range of information and services.
Centrelink is facing increasing demands from government, client agencies, customers, and third party organisations to provide up to date services, including increased access to information, self-service, and greater connections between organisations. In order to meet these new demands, Centrelink needs to update its IT systems. New opportunities for a more efficient and equitable welfare system arise from the new technologies that use the internet and telephone systems.
Total Government Funding: Saving $48.7 million over four years
D2. Centrelink Rural Call Centres - Continuation of Funding
1 July 2003 to 30 June 2007.
The Government will extend funding for the two rural call centres located in Maryborough (Queensland) and Port Augusta (South Australia). These rural-specific centres were established to provide expert information and advice on Centrelink services to many rural and regional customers.
The Government's 1998 election commitments included the establishment of rural-specific call centres that would provide more equitable levels of services to rural Australia regardless of distance, isolation and other disadvantages. Two Centrelink rural call centres were created - in Maryborough and Port Augusta.
A review of current Centrelink rural call centres established they were well regarded by the rural communities they service. By integrating specific initiatives, for example, the Sugar Industry Assistance Package, Exceptional Circumstances, Interim Drought measures with Centrelink's existing services, the rural call centres have provided information and assistance that has enabled rural customers to better understand eligibility requirements for payments and more easily obtain appropriate assistance.
Total Government Funding: $31.8 million over four years