staff at a service centre

Government agencies can benefit from smarter service systems developed by CSIRO

CSIRO innovation advancing government services

The impact of demographic changes, urbanisation and emerging economic constraints are reshaping the way public services are delivered.

  • 19 August 2011 | Updated 31 July 2012

Better government services

Governments need to develop new business delivery models and systems that will be citizen centric, adaptable and cost effective.

Innovation in the public sector means improving policy and program development and the delivery of services to citizens.

Science and technology is embedded in many service industries, public and private. For example, online forms for web services, customer analytics or tracking goods through a warehouse.

CSIRO’s goal is to create smarter service systems for public sector agencies in line with moves by state and federal governments to improve their delivery of services.

Customers want government services that are:

These innovative new systems will need to function smoothly, interconnect with citizens, communities and businesses.

  • centred around them (citizen-centric)
  • flexible, timely and responsive
  • simple and easy to access
  • equitable and fair.

Governments face the challenges of being:

  • transparent and accountable
  • effective and efficient
  • responsive to changing community needs.

These innovative new systems will need to function smoothly, interconnect with citizens, communities and businesses. They will be adaptable to change and spark growth, further innovation and progress.

For example CSIRO can analyse the existing data collected from government agencies to identify bottlenecks, plan improvements and streamline the design and delivery of public services so that they are citizen centric and accurately reflect people’s needs.

Implementing smarter systems may reduce the frustration and stress citizens face when accessing government funded services, whilst allowing government to manage resources more effectively and increase transparency and accountability.

CSIRO and services research

Globally, people are still recognising the amount of science behind services, yet CSIRO has been involved in services research for many years.

Understanding complex service systems requires teams of people that combine a deep knowledge of information and communication technologies (ICT), mathematics, statistics, economics and social sciences.

As Australia’s national science agency, CSIRO is uniquely placed to provide this breadth and skill set.

CSIRO’s Government and Commercial Services group aims to:

  • assist in the optimisation of government service delivery systems
  • solve service challenges for a range of Australian industries such as:
    • banking, finance and insurance
    • manufacturing, logistics and infrastructure.

Our capabilities

CSIRO's unique capabilities in service science include:

  • risk assessment and modelling of strategic decision processes
  • dealing with rare events with serious consequences
  • operational and physical decision planning and scheduling processes
  • dealing with large and complex data sets
  • representation and visualisation of data and systems
  • interoperability and services-oriented architectures
  • citizen centric information delivery
  • trusted secure collaboration systems
  • vulnerability and resilience of complex systems
  • behavioural economics to understand human decision making

Our customers

In Australia, CSIRO has worked with many state and federal government departments and agencies including:

  • NSW Roads and Traffic Authority
  • Commonwealth Department of Climate Change
  • Australian Taxation Office
  • Queensland Health
  • Seqwater.

Among our many collaborations, CSIRO and the Department of Human Services (DHS) have formed a research alliance to improve the delivery of services to over six million Australians.

Over the next five years, the Human Services Delivery Research Alliance (HSDRA) will help DHS to innovate and meet the challenges of service delivery into the future.

Read more about Human Services Delivery Research Alliance.

To find out more about CSIRO's expertise in services research and how your organisation or business can benefit, please contact us.


Human Services Delivery Research Alliance

CSIRO and the Department of Human Services formed a research alliance to harness the power of science and improve service delivery to more than six million Australians each year.

Understanding the full impact of social service delivery

CSIRO and the Department of Human Services (DHS) are working together to gain a more complete understanding of the hard-to-measure impacts of human services.

Improving social welfare services with powerful data analysis

CSIRO is developing sophisticated technologies to help the Department of Human Services (DHS) understand and respond to unexpected trends in demand for social worker services.

Pathways: a new approach to social service systems

Mapping and analysing pathways through social welfare systems could show which programs work best.

Vizie provides social media monitoring to identify customer needs

Our social media monitoring tool Vizie is transforming the way government agencies listen to, understand and respond to customer feedback from social media.

Online communities: improving communication with customers

CSIRO is working with Centrelink to develop and trial an online forum with a target group of Centrelink customers.

Risk profile analysis: guidance for the Home Insulation Safety Program

CSIRO’s top experts in risk analysis were commissioned by the Commonwealth Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency to give specialist advice on the scope, design, size and development of the inspection and rectification program for non-foil insulation installed under the Home Insulation Program.

Detecting outbreaks of flu and other illnesses

Health services need to know when a flu outbreak is normal or not so they can, if needed, quickly implement measures to contain it.

Science of human behaviour informs tax system review

How can ‘doing your tax’ be made simpler? Science has some answers.

Privacy-Preserving Analytics: software for analysing confidential data

CSIRO has developed technology called PPA that allows personal or commercially sensitive data to be statistically analysed while protecting confidentiality and privacy.

Decision support for natural resource policy and investment appraisal

By developing improved means to handle both financial and non-financial outcomes in major investment decisions – the triple bottom line - CSIRO will help improve the analytic rigour, auditability and transparency of industry decisions.

Scheduling boats, crews and missions

CSIRO services scientists have worked with the Royal Australian Navy and the Defence Science and Technology Organisation (DSTO) to solve some important fleet scheduling challenges.

Social protection for vulnerable communities

CSIRO worked with AusAID to create an information framework for Indonesia which linked together important information and located it on maps to help the Indonesian Government deliver critical social services where they are needed most. This is a completed pilot project, see for current project information.