Digital Transformation Office updates guidance on Digital Service Standard

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Monday, 27 April 2015 10:54am

The Digital Transformation Office—a new body created to manage the improved design of online government services—has provided updated guidance for agencies.

Right hand holding an iPhone and left hand resting on laptop keyboard, cup of coffee on the right

The latest guidance, dealing with elements of the DTO’s Digital Service Standard — a set of 16 principles to help agencies shape their services—is provided in a blog posted in response to questions submitted by Media Access Australia.

In particular, the blog, Q&As on the Digital Service Standard, clarifies previous ambiguity around which levels of government the new design standard will apply to.

“The Standard applies to all Australian Government (federal) agencies with in-scope services,” the DTO’s Jacqui van Teulingen states.

“We can’t speak for state, territory or local governments on adopting the Standard, but of course their digital strategies have the same intent—to deliver better services.

“The standard will be updated and improved to reflect emerging best practice, and we have a rich source of best practice examples coming from state based services.”

The blog also provides some additional information on the Digital Transformation Plans that federal agencies will need to complete by September 2015. These are intended to explain to the DTO how individual agencies intend to comply with the standard.

The plans will also describe how agencies will adopt the standard and deliver more user-centered services by 2017 and beyond.

“[The transformation plans will include information on] ...when agencies will have their high volume services available digitally and when they will commence adoption of common services such as the MyGov authentication or a digital mailbox,” the post reads.

“The plans will also provide basic data required for benchmarking. Over time, this will enable us to publish a dashboard showing how the government’s digital transformation is progressing.

“We have a team working on this with the Digital Transformation Coordinators; the people within agencies supporting the implementation of the agenda and the development of the plans.”

With mobile devices rapidly becoming a major channel for the delivery of government services, the post also details the standard as it applies to apps.

“Because mobile apps are a digital delivery channel, the standard will apply to them,” the post reads. “However, an app should only be developed if the user needs research supports the need for one.

“All services need to be usable from any device, so services using an app will need to provide alternative access points. There is some initial guidance in How to apply the Standard that we will update over the coming months in creating a Digital Service Design Guide.”

That Guide will be available at the end of June, 2015.

Web accessibility advice

Media Access Australia, Australia’s only independent not-for-profit organisation devoted to increasing access to media for people with a disability, works with public—and private—sector organisations to improve their digital accessibility.

Through its digital accessibility services, Media Access Australia supplies professional services around improving the accessibility of online documentswebsite accessibilityorganisation-wide accessibility strategy as well as professional development in accessibility.

Media Access Australia also helps increase inclusion through its thought leadership and research in important areas such as social media accessibilityservice provision for people with disabilities and cloud computing and mobile accessibility.

If you’re part of an organisation looking to create greater digital inclusion, contact Media Access Australia by calling (02) 9212 6242 or complete the enquiry form on our Contact page for more information.

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