An e-future for Work and Income

The Department of Work and Income is heading strongly in the "e-government" direction.

The Department of Work and Income (DWI) is heading strongly in the “e-government” direction.

The department has issued request for information on a set of Internet-related projects, aimed mainly at “facilitating citizen access to services online”.

Planned developments aim to give citizens an easier Internet interface into a variety of services - from providing online copies of pamphlets to calculating their eligibility for benefits and monitoring the progress of student loan and allowance applications online.

The student loans and allowances project is ranked the most urgent of the six projects. It is scheduled to go live by September 30 this year. Ideally, the application will be complete by then, but a staged implementation is acceptable, says the department.

One planned project is an interactive “eligibility wizard” to allow customers to assess their own eligibility for income support.

There is also a broader ranging information project to allow the customer to access all of DWI’s publicly available information, including policy, procedures and processes, calculators and rates, directories, pamphlets, forms and any other information currently available, or information that could be accessed through the Official Information legislation.

Access would also be provided to information relating to all other DWI services such as employment, Community Services Card, student services, debt and control, overseas pensions, among others.

Individuals will gain access through a PIN secure system to personal information relating to their own entitlements.

Search engines will be implemented to allow the public to easily find information relating to entitlement or for any other purpose.

Another project will give or enhance online access to jobs – both for jobseekers and providers.

Most of the projects have dates for commencement of rollout from January 2001 to April 2001.

The department also aims to smarten up internal management of corporate knowledge. A search engine is to be provided to assist the location of knowledge on a specific topic either through the departmental intranet or by reference to “acceptable” sites on the Internet.

DWI also envisages establishing stores of specialist knowledge within the organisation, contributed to by experts.

Responses to the RFI are requested by July 17.

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