A bold new era of government has arrived. It’s agile, responsive and more closely aligned with the needs of citizens, departments, business and community

24 May 2021
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Australian governments at all levels have rapidly adapted and shifted focus after a year of unprecedented disruption and continued uncertainty. The public sector has responded to the crisis with flexibility and agility; increasingly relying on cross-agency collaboration to drive outcomes.

A new benchmark has been set. Citizens expect a different experience moving forward. We have seen this over the past 14 months where data has driven key determinations and outcomes in the COVID pandemic. As we reflect on the progress made and review the data insights that outline the impact of services; citizen centricity has been paramount to Australia’s pandemic management response and subsequent strides on the road to economic recovery.According to Forrester Consulting research commissioned by KPMG, nearly eight out of ten government organisations globally say they are putting the customer at the centre. Yet, 30% cited a lack of qualified staff as a barrier to executing customer-centric strategies. We understand the shift to citizen-centricity has its challenges and believe the time has come to modernise the systems and structures of government.Forward looking governments are focused on designing departments and agencies that can engage in new levels of constructive dialogue. This requires bringing the entire, organisation-wide operations into a single line of sight. Yet, more than 50% of government organisations currently rate their customer-centric capabilities as average at best, with 16% calling them ‘less mature’ and about 42% rating their customer centricity as ‘about average’.The future is clearly collaborative — and opportunity rich when we look for shared interest. Collaborative public-private partnerships between various levels of government and business in the last decade have demonstrated the speed and efficiency with which public services and infrastructure can emerge. In looking ahead, critical new communication and problem-solving channels will enhance policy making, program design and execution via a deep and sustained exchange of thinking, ideation and best practices.Trust in government becomes critical.While consumers are accustomed to providing personal information to online shopping or entertainment platforms, doubts remain concerning public trust in governments’ data management. With 35% of government organisations citing data security and privacy concerns as the leading barrier to their successful execution of customer-centric strategies, today’s challenge lies in building public trust in the government’s use of data. Investment in revolutionary technologies, platforms, systems and processes should be a priority to reshape governments into a newly responsive, cost-efficient, customer-focused model that demands trusted government stewardship of all public data.The future is about breaking down silos and getting connected.The divisions between front, middle and back offices are collapsing. Future-focused organisations are shaping new operating models in which every part of the organisation, end to end, is working with every other element to deliver against the big picture. There are five lenses we believe high-performing government agencies should look through when considering citizen-centric transformation.

1. Connect customers with compelling opportunities and interactions

2. Connect and empower employees to deliver on the customer-centric experience

3. Connect front, middle and back offices to execute on the customer-centric agenda

4. Connect ecosystems of partners to jointly deliver on commitments to customers

5. Connect to market dynamics and digital signalsThe era of modern government has arrived, and the advances made possible through the excruciating hard work of the many public service officials, healthcare professionals, businesses and citizens should be galvanized to continue to improve outcomes for all Australians. To achieve citizen-centric public sector transformation, it’s imperative that shifts empower governments and citizens to connect.

For more information, view KPMG’s report Modernising Government: Global Trends.


KPMG’s new report Modernising Government: Global Trends has shown that COVID-19 has given governments around the world an unexpected but revealing glimpse into what is possible. The pandemic has proven the potential of governments to dramatically heighten their agility and slash response times to meet public needs and expectations.The report shows forward-looking governments are leveraging the momentum they created during the pandemic to focus on innovative initiatives and agile regulations. Collaborative public-private partnerships between various levels of government and business in the last decade have demonstrated the speed and efficiency with which public services and infrastructure can emerge. Governments are enhancing their focus on their role as ‘economic stewards’ – working in closer partnership with private industry to enhance future prosperity.
Tags: COVID-19