Behavioural insights

pattern

Department of Justice and Regulation - Recouping fines

Problem

In 2013/14 there were approximately 450,000 people with outstanding warrants for unresolved fines.

Solution

The then Victorian Department of Justice ran Project Nexter, a letter campaign targeting people with unpaid fines.

Behavioural insight

Project Nexter provided simple, easy to understand language to ensure individuals were aware of outstanding infringement matters. For example, letters would state "We appreciate that there are many reasons why you have not paid your fines." The new language was perceived by recipients as more approachable and more likely to encourage them to pay or resolve their outstanding fines.

Result

Project Nexter saw the payment of more than $36 million in unpaid fines and additionally, almost $35 million through payment plans. The project cost $2 million and led to about 70,000 people paying their fines. In 2013/14 the Department actioned over 3 million infringement notices, an increase of 150,000 over 2012/13 numbers.

Project Nexter demonstrates how Behavioural insights applied to something as simple as the wording of a message can save taxpayers millions in unpaid fines and avoidable enforcement actions.