B.2 Performance Analysis

Output 1.1 Government Policy and Reform


The directorate provided advice and direction across the ACT Public Service on complex policy matters, incorporating a central agency coordination role in strategic planning, social and economic policy, regulation reform, regional policy, government information, and whole of government digital and ICT strategy, including cloud adoption, open data and digital delivery methods such as Agile.

The directorate supported the Chief Minister, Cabinet and its subcommittees, the Head of Service as Secretary of Cabinet through the provision of policy and support, including secretariat functions and advice. It also had responsibility for monitoring progress of Government priorities as articulated through the Government’s election commitments, the Parliamentary Agreement and strategic priorities.

It also provided secretariat and policy support to the ACT Public Service Strategic Board, chaired by the Head of Service, which comprised Directors-General of all ACT Government agencies, the Under Treasurer, the Chief Digital Officer, the Commissioner for Public Administration and Deputy Director-General, Policy and Cabinet (as secretary). The Board provided strategic leadership and supported alignment and coordination of effort by officials across the ACTPS.

The directorate supported the Chief Minister representing the ACT at intergovernmental forums, notably the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) and the Council for the Australian Federation (CAF). The Division managed and coordinated the ACT’s relationships with other jurisdictions, most significantly with the Commonwealth and NSW Governments and surrounding local councils which are members of the Canberra Region Joint Organisation.

The directorate coordinated regulation and process reform efforts across government and was secretariat to the Regulatory Reform Panel, a consultative body established to reduce red tape and regulatory impediments to ACT businesses.

The directorate also drove digital transformation, via iConnect, to provide anytime, anywhere access to services that personalises engagement with the ACT Government. The iConnect program will deliverer new digital services that offer a modern, mobile-friendly look-and-feel, and via any device with an Internet connection the community has access to:

  • an upgraded online ACT Government customer account that can be personalised and customised;
  • a digital mailbox for online account holders to conveniently and securely receive communication from the ACT Government; and
  • a range of easy-to-use transactions, bill payment services, and reminders.

The directorate was also responsible for leading the public transport reform agenda and supporting the creation of Transport Canberra and City Services through the Transport Canberra transition team.


Against this output in 2015-16 the directorate:

  • provided secretariat services to Cabinet and its subcommittees including policy advice to the Chief Minister and supported the operation of the three subcommittees – Transport Reform, Economic Growth and Urban Renewal, and Social Inclusion and Equality;
  • supported the ACT’s participation in COAG and CAF through the provision of advice to the Chief Minister and Cabinet and participated in COAG Senior Officials’ meetings;
  • coordinated across government working groups and participation in national working groups, and provided policy advice on national reform initiatives including federation reform, deregulation, national disability insurance scheme and domestic violence;
  • implemented phased regulatory reforms to legalise and regulate ridesharing services, including the development of the Road Transport (Public Passenger Services) (Taxi Industry Innovation) Amendment Act 2015, which was notified on 24 November 2015, and associated regulations, with the legal operation of rideshare in the Territory commencing on 30 October 2015;
  • finalised the Red Tape Reduction Legislation Amendment Act 2015, which was notified on 30 September 2015, and developed the Red Tape Reduction Legislation Amendment Act 2016, which was notified on 13 April 2016;
  • undertook secretariat functions for the Regulatory Reform Panel, the Government’s forum for working with the ACT business community on regulatory reform, with two meetings held in 2015-16;
  • led development of a model single licensing framework for fair trading with Access Canberra and other agencies, resulting in the Traders (Licensing) Bill 2015 being introduced in the Legislative Assembly on 9 June 2016;
  • supported the public transport reform agenda, including:
    • developing a Public Transport Improvement Plan, released in October 2015, which outlined a vision for integrated public transport as well as a range of practical measures for improving public transport in the ACT; and
    • following the release of the Plan, managed the implementation of Transport Canberra and City Services, which commenced operations on 1 July 2016;
  • implemented a range of reforms to the Cabinet process to improve collaboration between agencies and improve timeliness, including revising the Cabinet Handbook and digitising the cabinet process as part of the Whole of Government Electronic Document and Records Management System;
  • developed the Social Inclusion Statement and the Safer Families Statement for the 2016‑17 ACT Budget;
  • amended the timeframes and process for government responses to Auditor General Performance Audit reports through the Statute Law Amendment Act 2015 (November 2015) and government responses to Committee Reports through an Assembly Motion (passed in April 2016) and implemented the changes through revising the Guidelines for responding to performance audit reports by the Auditor-General;
  • implemented the Smart Parking trial in Manuka, which includes 460 Infra-Red sensors feeding real time parking information to the ParkCBR app and five LED street signs guiding drivers to available bays;
  • led a project to extend the use of digital recordkeeping systems within the ACTPS, through the development of a unified framework for configuring Electronic Document and Record Management Systems across government (to be completed October 2016) which will support improved information sharing across government;
  • developed the Reportable Conduct and Information Sharing Legislation Amendment Bill 2016, introduced in the Assembly on 9 June 2016, which will improve the oversight of how organisations respond to allegations of child abuse by employees and volunteers;
  • coordinated a number of projects under the auspices of the ACT and NSW Memorandum of Understanding on Regional Collaboration (the MoU) including ACT Government consultation for input to the NSW’s draft regional plan for the South East and Tablelands and facilitated a joint research project into international freight with the NSW Government and Canberra Region Joint Organisation;
  • implemented an activity based workplace pilot in the Nara building, which provides employees with a variety of work spaces, including the option to work remotely and has increased the floor space capacity for that floor from 76 to 135 employees (note in January 2016 responsibility for this function transferred to Output 1.2);
  • produced Canberra: A Statement of Ambition which was an integrated narrative for the future development of the city;
  • provided clear leadership and direction as the Government moves towards establishing itself as a digital government;
  • developed the ACT Government's Cloud Policy and championed the adoption of cloud-based services through chairing and providing secretariat services to the Cloud Adoption Steering Committee;
  • established a cross-directorate project team, which partnered with the Federal Digital Transformation Office, to understand contemporary digital delivery methods and how the ACT Government could capitalise on these for citizen-focused service delivery;
  • developed the ACT Government's Pro-active Release of Data (Open Data) Policy, which was endorsed by Cabinet in December 2015;
  • developed a whole of government Digital Strategy, laying the foundations and setting the direction to create the impetus and architecture for fully digitised services and technology platform renovation;
  • established the Digital Services Governance Committee, providing governance and guidance over technology architecture, standards and practices;
  • represented the ACT Government and promoted the ACT's digital agenda at a number of national and international forums, including the inaugural Chief Digital Officer Summit held in Sydney on 1 March 2016, and an Open Data Customer Summit in Washington DC in October 2015; and
  • through iConnect, established shared, modern ICT capabilities to deliver a simpler and improved customer experience that will allow users to authenticate their identity online and have access to an increased number of services via the digital channel.

The directorate met six out of eight targets against this output. The targets not met were:

  • (a) Whole of government policy and project initiatives, where the initiative relating to activity based work was not fully finalised during the reporting period (expected to be finalised later in 2016); and
  • (g) iConnect initiative, where the target was not met due to challenges with platform configuration, the integration of services with broader core systems and application of the Territory Privacy Principles. These issues are being systematically worked through.

Future Direction

In 2016-17, the directorate will:

  • continue to provide high quality, objective strategic advice to the Chief Minister and Cabinet and its subcommittees on decisions before Government;
  • provide policy support as required to directorates on complex policy matters;
  • assist to achieve Government objectives through effective engagement with Commonwealth, State and Territory Governments;
  • prepare incoming government briefings;
  • support the implementation of the Reportable Conduct Scheme;
  • renew the ACT-NSW MoU for Regional Collaboration with the NSW Premier and with the surrounding NSW Local Governments and collaborate on initiatives that support economic development;
  • finalise the implementation of legislative reforms to support innovation in the taxi industry and regulate ridesharing;
  • support the Regulatory Reform Panel, Access Canberra and other agencies across government to develop further regulatory reform opportunities and prepare red tape reduction legislation amendments;
  • transition the whole of government Electronic Document Record Management System to business as usual operation;
  • monitor and report on the implementation of Government priorities;
  • lead in the development of legislative amendments improving the Government's ability to capitalise on cloud technologies and enable iConnect uptake growth;
  • take a leading role in identifying and capitalising on opportunities for digital transformation across government;
  • facilitate a series of Digital Strategy workshops to review each directorate's technology and· business plans through the lens of the whole of government Digital Strategy;
  • establish the ongoing effectiveness of the Digital Services Governance Committee, including establishing a framework to improve transparency and accountability for digital and ICT investment;
  • undertake a 12 month pilot of the Digital Initiative Program providing seed funding to allow the investigation and implementation of digital initiatives that will provide benefit across the Territory;
  • undertake a pilot program to:
    • improve data sharing across directorates as well as with the community (as open data); and
    • to better understand the issues and challenges in sharing information across the Service;
  • continue to promote the ACT Government's digital agenda at national and international forums; and
  • continue the rolling program of new user centred online services via iConnect.

For further information contact:

Geoffrey Rutledge
A/g Deputy Director-General
Policy and Cabinet
+ 61 2 6207 8884

Jon Cumming
Chief Digital Officer
Office of the Chief Digital Officer
+ 61 2 6207 7733

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