What's in a name, some might ask of the Coalition government's new brand for its largest service delivery agency?
The rebadging of the Human Services Department as "Services Australia" is a clear hint Prime Minister Scott Morrison is looking to Service NSW's successes as a model for federal IT reform.
But a new name and a lick of paint won't be enough to bring success if the government wants to improve its digital services, two of its recent technology chiefs say.
The Coalition's surprise elevation of government services to the top of its agenda marks another shift in IT reform since Malcolm Turnbull launched the then-Digital Transformation Office in 2015.
As the newly-rebranded Services Australia takes the reins of government IT and contracting from the Prime Minister's department, the future of Mr Turnbull's pet agency is unclear. After painting the broad brush strokes, the Morrison government is working out the details of its plans to make services easier to use.
Two of the executives who led the agency overseeing government-wide IT reform commend the intent, but on the new departmental name, they make the same point as Juliet about Romeo. A rose by any other name would smell, well, the same.
Gavin Slater, who led the Digital Transformation Agency for more than a year after its own rebranding, said efforts to improve digital service delivery required a clear sense of destination.
"The name doesn't matter for much, it's more fundamentally being clear what you're trying to achieve," he said.
Efforts to improve services must be formed around clear outcomes, rather than policy and process.
He described three goals during his time as Digital Transformation Agency chief executive: more services on digital channels, a better and more seamless digital experience for customers, and a greater return on government spending through improved services.
Success in IT reform would involve prioritising, from a smorgasbord of options, what improvements mattered most. It also needed clear lines of accountability on projects.
A high degree of coordination across the public service was another ingredient.
Mr Slater said there were barriers to collaboration, the biggest being that agencies were "silo-oriented".
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Mr Morrison has put whole-of-government service delivery, and IT, under the charge of his ally and new Government Services Minister Stuart Robert.
"Bringing it all under one minister is a positive step, so it gets a tick for that," Mr Slater said of the change.
More generally, the federal government spent too much on consultants, he said.
"The amount of money governments spend on consultants is significant, and it doesn't have to be that way."
Governments didn't need more strategy consultants, Mr Slater said. It could also do with fewer PowerPoint presentations. The former DTA chief said he preferred to see IT projects form a minimum viable product to be tested, rather than watching PowerPoint slides.
His predecessor, former Digital Transformation Office chief Paul Shetler, said the government was taking a step in the right direction with its rethink. He suggested the same changes, coincidentally, in an article on IT news website InnovationAus only days before Mr Morrison's announcement and the orders that shifted responsibility for government IT to Services Australia.
Despite the early signs, Mr Shetler is waiting to see whether the changes are anything more than superficial.
"We will see how serious they are by what teeth they put behind those administrative orders," he said.
The model for the federal government's change in direction, Service NSW, had collected data on their performance and fed this back to the minister.
The amount of money governments spend on consultants is significant, and it doesn't have to be that way.Gavin Slater
"That's informed their decisions regarding customer service," Mr Shetler said.
Services Australia will need similar controls over government IT projects as the department overseeing Service NSW to improve services, he said.
Too often the bureaucracy lacked basic skills to build, govern and operate digital services for the public, he wrote in InnovationAus this month.
"As a result, the gap between what citizens experience in their daily lives when they use online services and what they experience when they have to use what the government offers is clear," he said.
"There needs to be a comprehensive and long-term effort to improve this experience, with measures that can also produce very tangible short-term results as well."
The Digital Transformation Agency has changed roles and chief executives already in its short life. The Prime Minister said on Sunday he wants government to be easier for Australians. Whether this involves a stand-alone agency, or one absorbed into Services Australia, is unclear.
"There's a lot of questions to be answered," Mr Shetler said.