Moving government service delivery to a single agency is a profound shift and would require strong leadership from the public service to make it happen, the chief executive of Service NSW says.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison revealed plans for a new national service delivery agency, be modelled on Service NSW.
Service NSW offers online services and shopfronts where people can book driving tests; renew vehicle registration; apply for births, deaths and marriage certificates; and seek Housing NSW tenancies among other services.
Service NSW has served completed more than 94 million online transactions since 2013, and 70 per cent of services can be accessed digitally.
Damon Rees, who has been chief executive of Service NSW since 2017 after a stint as the NSW government's chief information and digital officer, said digital service delivery needed a "relentless focus on customers".
"To achieve that, it requires very, very strong leadership within the public service and within the parliament," he said.
Mr Rees said digital service delivery did not have to cost more and could present savings to government.
"I think it is possible to deliver both a better customer experience and a better customer outcome and an efficient experience as well," he said.
It's a big change and you've got a lot of institutions that have been doing things a certain way for a long timeService NSW chief executive Damon Rees
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Mr Rees said there was initial reluctance among agencies in NSW to combine their service offerings, but starting small and showing the sector how it would work in practice was the approach.
"It's a big change and you've got a lot of institutions that have been doing things a certain way for a long time, so for many people that change wasn't easy.
"And in some areas there was a level of resistance to moving to a very different way of serving customers," he said.
Mr Rees said it was important to maintain the balance between different community needs and consistent service, but it could be done by a fast-moving and modular agency.
Front line teams needed to be "empowered" to adapt to community need, he said.
Service NSW customers preferred to access digital services and satisfaction levels hovered between 97 and 98 per cent, with eight-minute wait times, he said.
But digital service delivery must also provide for customers who needed to access services in person or over the phone.
Mr Rees said Service NSW's digital teams, which did most of the agency's programming in-house, were as important to the agency as staffers in shopfronts.