Author:
Department of Government Services
Date:
18 Aug 2023

Message from the Secretary

The Department of Government Services (DGS) was established on 1 January 2023. As DGS Secretary, I am pleased to provide the Department’s inaugural Corporate Plan.

The creation of the department sets an ambitious vision for the future of government services.

It recognises the Victorian Government, as a provider of services to the Victorian community, needs to be responsive to changing customer needs and rapidly evolving digital technologies.

Driven by digital transformation, the department will create a single touchpoint to make it easy for Victorians to access the day-to-day services and support they need in a reliable and seamless way.

This means finding ways to understand people’s needs and designing services to fit their lives.

Customer service is at the heart of how we operate. We listen to and understand the needs of our customers (citizens, businesses and our internal government partners) in how we design and deliver services and work transparently to drive efficiencies and continuous improvement.

We pair a strong culture of customer service with a deep understanding of digital public services and the capabilities to translate policy intent into efficiently scaled services.

We will transform the way government delivers services, establishing a strong technology backbone and introducing new technologies, new skills and new ways of working to deliver the services that Victorians expect and make it easier for the public service to support and deliver for our communities.

Through our regulatory functions, we are a custodian of service eco-systems - ensuring they work effectively and maintain trust and integrity in the services that are provided to Victorians.

With the best technology, infrastructure, and skills, we can deliver future-ready services for Victorians.

Jo de Morton

Secretary

About the department

The Department was established on 1 January 2023. This is our first Corporate Plan.

Purpose

Improve how Victorians and business engage with government, and accelerate digital transformation and corporate services reform across the VPS.

Mission

DGS brings together government services to continuously improve how government serves Victorians – and public servants – and be an effective custodian of service ecosystems.

DGS pairs a strong culture of customer service with a deep understanding of digital public services and the capabilities to translate policy intent into efficiently scaled services.

Values

We uphold the public sector values as enshrined in the Public Administration Act 2004:

  • Accountability: working to clear objectives in a transparent manner, accepting responsibility for our decisions and actions, seeking to achieve best use of resources and submitting ourselves to appropriate scrutiny.
  • Human Rights: making decisions and providing advice consistent with the human rights set out in the Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act 2006, and actively implementing, promoting and supporting human rights.
  • Impartiality: making decisions and providing advice on merit without bias, caprice, favouritism or self-interest, acting fairly by objectively considering all relevant facts and applying fair criteria, implementing government policies and programs equitably.
  • Integrity: being honest, open and transparent in our dealings, using powers responsibly, reporting improper conduct, and avoiding real or apparent conflicts of interest, striving to earn and sustain public trust of a high level.
  • Leadership: actively implementing, promoting and supporting these values.
  • Respect: treating others fairly and objectively, ensuring freedom from discrimination, harassment and bullying, using views to improve outcomes on an ongoing basis.
  • Responsiveness: providing frank, impartial and timely advice to the government, providing high-quality services to the Victorian community, identifying and promoting best practice.

Our ministers

The Hon Danny Pearson MP

Minister for Government Services

Minister for Consumer Affairs

The Hon Melissa Horne

Minister for Local Government

The Hon Natalie Suleyman

Minister for Small Business

Our portfolio entities

  • CenITex
  • Public Record Office Victoria
  • Service Victoria
  • Director of Consumer Affairs Victoria
  • Commissioner for Residential Tenancies
  • Chief Dispute Resolution Officer
  • Estate Agents Council
  • Motor Car Traders Claims Committee
  • Residential Tenancies Bond Authority
  • Consumer Policy Research Centre
  • Business Licensing Authority
  • Arbiter Panel List
  • Councillor Conduct Panel List
  • Principal Councillor Conduct Registrar
  • Victorian Local Government Grants Commission.

Our groups

Digital Transformation

  • Defines DGS’s strategic and reform agenda and drives service onboarding, customer centricity and transformation.
  • Makes available the foundational technology and digital platforms capability required.

Priorities

  • WOVG policies and projects that address the opportunities and risks of digital transformation.
  • WOVG digital platforms and infrastructure that improve productivity and effectiveness.

Customer & Regulatory Services

  • Accountable for operational policy development, regulatory design and administration, system and program design and the delivery of services to – and in the best interests of – Victorians.

Corporate Shared Services

  • Accountable for operational policy development, corporate governance and administration, and the delivery of services to the Victorian public service.

A shared focus

Customer & Regulatory Services and Corporate Shared Services share the same focus and priorities for different customer segments:

  • Provide consistently great customer experiences in the delivery of scalable, efficient and effective services.
  • Manage the delivery of services with a balance of expertise and speed, while driving the digital transformation of those services.

Priorities

  • Policy and regulation that supports responsive and accountable services.
  • Customer and corporate services that improve satisfaction and productivity.

Achieving our objectives

There are important challenges to overcome in order to achieve our objectives.

Our objectives

  • Make it easier for citizens and businesses to engage with government.
  • Accelerate digital transformation.
  • Corporate services that enable better service delivery and drive productivity over time.

Challenges and barriers

Accelerating customer expectations and technology change

New technologies such as artificial intelligence and cloud computing are rapidly advancing, with implications for privacy and cybersecurity. To keep pace, we need smart policy responses, as well as expertise to develop and implement enabling technology to deliver high quality digital services.

Barriers to digital inclusion

The social challenges faced by the most vulnerable in our society – such as accessing services and obtaining higher value jobs – are magnified by the increasing use of digital.

We need to identify and address common challenges and inhibitors to service access.

Organisational capacity and capability

DGS is a new department formed by the transfer of functions from others. Further organisational development is needed to create the capabilities and capacity needed to deliver our objectives, including:

  • culture and structure
  • resources, including the available technology and condition of assets
  • service delivery channels
  • performance data
  • service, asset and operation plans.

Operating context

The increasing digitisation of economies has highlighted the importance of digital transformation for government and how it can help improve the effectiveness, efficiency, and accessibility of government services.

Digital services are the face of modern government, and great digital services can build trust with citizens. Citizens and businesses now expect government information and services to be readily available online, easy to find and understand, and at low or no cost.

Widespread reliance on technology during the COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated that digital connectivity, platforms and skills are rapidly becoming critical infrastructure, not just tools. The number of Victorians reporting they can’t or won’t use online services has fallen from 19 percent to around 8 percent.

In addition to meeting rising citizen expectations, digital government services are also more efficient which will help to meet demand growth and contribute to budget repair.

Objective 1: Accelerate digital transformation for government

This objective supports the effective and efficient delivery of government services through digital technology and platforms.

Indicators

  • Development and effective use of technology supports delivery of customer services in a more efficient and effective way at scale.
  • Achievement of government policies and priorities relating to use of digital platforms for government services and records management.

Our functions

Digital strategy and transformation

  • Continued innovation in digital technology to improve whole of government service delivery and business processes
  • Digital delivery of information and services to Victorian citizens and businesses.

Management of Victoria’s public records

  • Provides direction to government on the management of public records
  • Ensures the historical memory of the Victorian Government endures, is secure and accessible.

Key initiatives

Cyber Security

  • Oversee, review and strengthen the cyber defence systems across the Victorian public sector, and uplift response capabilities for cyber incidents with the creation of a new Cyber Defence Centre.

Connecting Victoria

  • Improve broadband and mobile connectivity.
  • Keep the public Wi-Fi access free and available in Melbourne’s CBD until April 2025.

Single digital presence

  • Make Victorian Government information easier for the community to access and navigate on a single digital platform.

Service Victoria

  • Continue to modernise and digitise government service delivery to improve public access to government services and simplify daily transactions with the Victorian Government.

Digital Victoria

  • Drive digital transformation across government and improve the user experience for business owners and local families alike.

Objective 2: Make it easier for citizens and businesses to engage with government

This objective contributes to the digital delivery of information and services to Victorian citizens and businesses; supports empowering consumers and businesses to know their rights and responsibilities; supports protection of Victorians’ identity through life event registrations and protection of children and people with disability through risk assessments of those working with or caring for them; and supports local councils to provide responsive and accountable services to the community.

Indicators

  • Increased access by consumers, renters, rental providers, businesses and community organisations to digital information.
  • Births, deaths and marriages registration transaction accuracy rate.
  • Working with Children and NDIS Checks processed (exclusions issued within three days of receiving a decision).
  • Community satisfaction with the performance of councils as measured through the Local Government Community Satisfaction Survey.

Our functions

Regulation of the Victorian consumer marketplace

  • Engaging with business to ensure compliance with the law and detecting and addressing non-compliance.
  • Informing consumers and businesses about their rights and responsibilities under the law.
  • Registration and occupational licensing.
  • Regulation of the residential tenancies market.
  • Free services to help resolve residential building disputes.

Identity and worker screening services

  • Providing screening of persons who work with or care for children, and screening of persons engaged in risk assessed roles for the purposes of the National Disability Insurance Scheme.
  • Registration of significant life events by the Victorian Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages (BDM).

Local government

  • Supporting local councils to increase accountability, transparency and good governance, and provide support to the Victorian Local Government Grants Commission.
  • Activities to enhance the emergency management capability and capacity of local government.

Key initiatives

Ex-gratia relief for Porter Davis Homes customers

  • Support the families who had signed a domestic building contract and paid deposits to the insolvent home builder, Porter Davis Homes, but had no valid domestic building insurance taken out by Porter Davis Homes.

Professional engineer registration scheme

  • Mandatory Victorian registration scheme to help ensure Victoria’s registered engineers are appropriately qualified and experienced.

Doing what matters for local communities and local government workers

  • Funding councils for a better Footscray streetscape, Laurimar public facilities, and traineeships/apprenticeships.
  • Expand the Gender Equality Act 2020 to library corps and a tailored Fair Jobs Code.

Digital future of the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages

  • Pilot front-end Births, Deaths and Marriages services as a function of Service Victoria.

We will also contribute to:

Reducing future justice demand and keeping the community safe

(Department of Justice and Community Safety initiative)

Supporting Community Sector Jobs

(Department of Families, Fairness and Housing initiative)

Objective 3: Corporate services that enable better service delivery and drive productivity over time

This objective aims to accelerate common corporate services to deliver integrated and customer-centred shared services to government agencies.

Areas include procurement, office accommodation management, carpool and government library services and shared central agency corporate services.

Indicators

  • Benefits delivered as a percentage of expenditure under managed state purchasing contracts, including reduced and avoided costs.
  • Low vacancy rates for government office accommodation maintained.
  • High-quality whole of government common services provided to government agencies as assessed by feedback from key clients.

Our functions

Services to government

  • Developing and maintaining a framework of whole of government policies, strategies, standards and guidelines which promote the efficient and effective use of common services including procurement, office accommodation management, carpool and government library services.
  • Managing a program of whole of government procurement contracts to ensure optimum benefit to government.
  • Supporting the operations of the Victorian Government Purchasing Board.
  • Providing strategic and fit-for-purpose shared services advisory to clients to deliver value to the Victorian Government.
  • Providing whole of government office accommodation and accommodation management.
  • Providing VicFleet, carpool, government library services and shared corporate services.

Key initiative

Procurement reform

  • Priority social procurement reforms to strengthen social procurement compliance and improve process efficiency.
  • Streamline and simplify government purchasing for both buyers and suppliers, improving procurement technology and leveraging the government spend to achieve greater value for Victorians.

Centralised accommodation management

  • New fit-out solutions, proactive leasing management, and building re-stacking to derive overall accommodation savings across government.

Our people and partnerships

Our people are critical to achieving our objectives.

We value our people and continue to build strong foundations to ensure we remain capable, responsive and agile. Developing the capability of our people to support a high-performing, service-oriented organisation is important to the Department.

Where possible, the Department is drawing on existing frameworks, policies and resources to support staff during our establishment phase.

Our frontline staff allow us to engage with customers and respond to their changing needs. We use customer feedback to improve services and transform systems and we will work with our partners across state and local government to remove the silos that affect accessibility of services.

Our staff also engage with community organisations, local government, service delivery agencies and other departments and agencies.

Building an inclusive culture must be central to how we operate. Inclusion and accessibility will be at the heart of all we do to ensure that our services reflect the needs of our diverse community.

And so too must be people with a digital mindset, competent in digital ways of working.

We will build a responsive workforce with the right tools and skills to do their job and combine the right digital skillsets in blended teams to solve key challenges.

The cultural shift to an ongoing new ‘digital normal’ and agile ways of working is essential.

Our partnerships

We allocate more than $800 million in funding to agencies, local councils and community service organisations for service delivery each year and monitor over 100 service agreements.

We oversee complex systems, services and programs with partners that include:

  • customers
  • government departments and agencies
  • local councils
  • commonwealth, state and territory governments
  • community service organisations
  • peak organisations
  • community groups
  • industry bodies and private sector providers.

Financial and asset outlook

Table 1: DGS operating statement – estimates ($ million)

Itemactualbudgetrevised (a)budget (b)
Net result from continuing operations
Income from transactions
Output appropriations....252468
Interest income....4480
Sales of goods and services....130271
Grants....111
Other revenue and income....1145
Total revenue and income from transactions....447866
Expenses from transactions
Employee benefits....173333
Depreciation....3143
Interest expense....12
Grant expense....116214
Other operating expenses....179251
Total expenses from transactions....500843
Net result from transactions (net operating balance)....(53)23
Other economic flows included in net result
Net gain/(loss) on disposal of non‑financial assets......1
Net gain/(loss) on financial instruments and statutory receivables/payables....5..
Total other economic flows included in net result....51
Net result....(48)24
Other economic flows – Other comprehensive income
Other......(2)
Total other economic flows – Other comprehensive income......(2)
Comprehensive result....(48)22

Notes for table:

(a)The Department of Government Services commenced operations on 1 January 2023 and the 2022-23 revised budget represents part-year results.

(b)The 2023-24 budget reflects the impact of the machinery of government changes effective from 1 January 2023.

Table 2: Summary of 2022–23 Victorian Budget funding for assets ($ million)

AssetTotal estimated investmentEst expenditure to 30 Jun 2023Estimated expenditure 2023‑24Remaining expenditureEstimated completion date
Accommodation Management Efficiency Program (Melbourne)2 365..2 365..qtr 4 2023‑24
Centralised Accommodation Management (Melbourne)9 810..9 810..qtr 4 2023‑24
Digital Victoria – Driving modern and sustainable management of digital (statewide)39 80517 05722 748..qtr 4 2023‑24
Service Victoria: enhancing customer experience with more digital services for Victorians (statewide)13 2845 1848 100..qtr 4 2023‑24
Total existing projects65 26422 24143 023..
Total Government Services projects65 26422 24143 023..
Other capital expendituren.a.n.a.(4 317)n.a.various
Total 2023‑24 Government Services capital expenditure 38 706

Notes for table:

Accommodation Management Efficiency Program (Melbourne): The TEI has decreased by $0.277 million due to realised cost efficiencies. The estimated completion date has been revised to quarter 4 2023‑24 in line with a revised project schedule. The initiative moved from the Department of Treasury and Finance to the Department of Government Services due to machinery of government changes.

Centralised Accommodation Management (Melbourne): The estimated completion date has been revised to quarter 4 2023‑24 in line with a revised project schedule. The initiative moved from the Department of Treasury and Finance to the Department of Government Services due to machinery of government changes.

Digital Victoria – Driving modern and sustainable management of digital (statewide): The initiative moved from the Department of Premier and Cabinet to the Department of Government Services due to machinery of government changes.

Service Victoria: enhancing customer experience with more digital services for Victorians (statewide): The initiative moved from the Department of Premier and Cabinet to the Department of Government Services due to machinery of government changes.

Other capital expenditure: Other capital expenditure includes offsets by factors such as funding held in contingency pending confirmation of project implementation planning and funding from other sources.