Victor Dominello MP - Minister For Customer Service NSW Government

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VICTOR DOMINELLO MINISTER FOR CUSTOMER SERVICE, NSW GOVERNMENT Omesh Jethwani, Government Projects & Programs Manager in-conversation with Minister Victor Dominello MP, Minister for Customer Service, NSW Government on the evolution of service delivery.

As a senior Minister in the Berejiklian Government, you have held various portfolios over a decade including Aboriginal Affairs, Veterans Affairs, Innovation and Better Regulation, Citizenship and Communities and Finance, Services and Property. On 2 April 2019, you were appointed the inaugural Minister for Customer Service, the first of its kind in the country. How has your journey been so far? The journey has been rewarding, exciting and challenging. In each portfolio I have had the opportunity to deliver meaningful reform across vastly different sectors in collaboration with the community and stakeholders. It has also been a learning experience. I am passionate about public service and being a Minister is an opportunity for me to give something back. Why was the Ministry of Customer Service created? The creation of this new cluster is testament to how serious the NSW Government is about improving the citizen experience and making life easier for them. We’ve seen how successful Service NSW has been at putting the customer first, and this Ministry is all about turbocharging the customer experience.

What are the core functions of the New South Wales Department of Customer Service?

delivering the Bushfire Customer Care program and launching one of the world’s largest Spatial Digital Twins.

The core functions are identifying and addressing the pain points across NSW Government to ensure they prioritise the customer and where possible, use technology to improve service delivery. Examples include enrolling a child in school, downloading a Digital Driver Licence and allowing drivers in parts of Sydney to pay for parking and top up via an app.

The NSW Planning Portal had been designed to provide public access to a range of planning services and information including documents or other information in the NSW planning database. What has been the outcome of the industry’s response?

Which NSW Government agencies are included in the Customer Service cluster? The cluster includes many of the regulatory bodies such as Fair Trading, SafeWork, Liquor, Gaming and Racing, Birth, Deaths and Marriages and the State Insurance Regulatory Authority. It also includes Service NSW, Spatial Services, cyber security and Digital Government. In the last 12 months, what were some of the new services or initiatives implemented by the New South Wales Department of Customer Service? Key achievements include the state wide rollout of the NSW Digital Driver Licence, expanding ePlanning and announcing a mandate for select councils, launching the Park’nPay app, introducing an online school enrolment pilot,

ePlanning has been well received by industry and customers across different parts of NSW. The initiative is a big win for both homeowners and industry, by slashing paperwork and improving transparency. What is one of your proudest achievements delivered in Government? The state wide rollout of the Digital Driver Licence was a particularly proud moment. It is a great example of using technology to make life easier for people, and incorporated feedback from the community and stakeholders. The numbers speak for themselves — more than 1.5 million people have downloaded the digital licence since its launch in November 2019, accounting for more than a quarter of drivers. You have a reputation as being one of the Government’s fiercest advocates for data strategising and progressive Issue Two | April-June 2020 | MBA NSW



digitisation of citizen services. Is there a strategy in place on the Government’s smart cities initiatives? I am a data and privacy zealot which is why I am presiding over the NSW Government’s digital transformation agenda. We are in the final stages of drafting a smart places strategy and a smart infrastructure policy. The NSW Department of Customer Service has oversight of all things digital to ensure that citizen centric design is built into new digital services offerings. What are the latest updates on the following: a. the Digital Driving License roll-out; (we announced the state wide rollout in November 2019. It has been an overwhelming success with 96 per cent of people giving it the thumbs up. We are working with industry groups to ensure they are aware of their obligations) b. the Digital Restart Fund; and (More than $35 million has been invested in a number of projects that will help with the Government’s digital transformation agenda. Legislation to ensure the Fund’s longevity is currently before Parliament ) c. the State Digital Strategy (The Beyond Digital Strategy was launched last year. A number of digital products are being developed and delivered, which is testament to our commitment to this strategy) More than 1 million NSW motorists have downloaded the Digital Driver Licence (DDL) since it was officially


MBA NSW | Issue Two | April-June 2020

launched on 3 November, accounting for almost 19 per cent of all licence holders. Will the digital services be extended to other licences, i.e. digital photo building trade licence, contractors digital photo licence, etc? The Digital Driver Licence has demonstrated the popularity of these types of digital products. We are exploring ways in which we can apply technology to make life easier for electricians and plumbers and will have more to say on this soon. What are some of the forthcoming digital projects in the pipeline? Which ones are you most looking forward to delivering? I am most passionate about implementing the full adoption of the ePlanning portal by NSW Councils for DA and CDC lodgement; completing the $620 million expansion of the government radio network for emergency services organisations; and expanding the Service NSW one-stop shop model for business transactions and approvals. In its last term, the NSW Government wanted 70 percent of government services digitised by 2019. Has that target been met? Digital transformation is a top priority of mine, and the NSW Government was recently named the most digitally advanced jurisdiction in Australia. More than 70 per cent of NSW Government transactions can be done online via the Service NSW website. On 1 December 2019, you announced

tighter restrictions on developers including what they must disclose to customers and their ability to deviate from those plans. Would you care to elaborate for our readers? Purchasing a property is the most significant financial decision a person or couple will make in their lifetime. Information is power and these new laws provide purchasers with stronger protections and more transparency so they can make an informed decision. In your opinion, how do you think businesses can align with NSW Government strategic initiatives? We are living in the digital age and customers want more choice and convenience when it comes to government products and services. Businesses are at the forefront of technology and innovation and I would encourage them to look at our priorities and identify opportunities to collaborate with us to make life easier for citizens. What is the New South Wales Department of Customer Service aiming to achieve in the next decade? We have a number of exciting projects in the pipeline long-term. Some of our top priorities are turbocharging the customer experience for businesses through Service NSW, making government easy for citizens through “Tell Us Once” reforms, consolidating the more than 750 websites across Government, and delivering first class services for citizens at pivotal life moments, such as birth, marriage, starting school, starting employment, retirement and death of a loved one.