The Andrews Labor Government will open up the Victorian Government and get started on plans to improve access to government services.
The 2015-16 Victorian Budget provides $15 million to commence planning and development of Service Victoria, a project to improve access to government transactional services for families and businesses.
Currently, these services are excessively difficult to navigate, with government transactions and information spread across hundreds of phone hotlines and 538 different websites.
Service Victoria will start the process of modernising the delivery of the highest volume government transactions in order to improve the quality and ease of interactions between government and citizens.
Reforming the public service to provide efficient and innovative policy development and service delivery to meet new challenges is a key priority of the Labor Government. The Budget invests $2 million to improve the effectiveness and capabilities of the public service through the work of the Victorian Public Service Commission (VSPC) in 2015-16.
Under the previous Liberal Government, the VPSC budget was slashed and its operations reduced. This increased funding will enable the VSPC to return to its role of delivering ongoing improvement in public sector.
The Budget also contains $15.9 million to establish and administer the Office of the Public Access Counsellor, which will support Victorians’ rights to access vital Government information previously hidden from view.
The new, independent Office will maintain all existing powers of the Freedom Of Information Commissioner, and will gain the authority to review Departmental and Ministerial decisions, including those on the grounds of Cabinet-in-Confidence.
Quotes attributable to Special Minister of State, Gavin Jennings
“The Andrews Labor Government is starting the process of rebuilding the capability and effectiveness of our public service and making accessing government services easier.”
“We don’t need almost a thousand different websites and hotlines for things like car registration and birth certificates. Service Victoria will get rid of the inefficiencies that are currently wasting time for families and businesses.”
“The previous Liberal Government spent a great deal of time and money trying to hide information from the public. The new Office of the Public Access Counsellor will support rights for Victorians to get the access they’re entitled to.”