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APS use of social media “conservative”

by Euan Brown •
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According to the State of the Service Report for 2013-2014, the Australian Public Service (APS) can be more innovative when using social media despite 75% of agencies engaging with some form of social media to support business outcomes.

The APS has approximately 169 twitter accounts with @Australia having 149,655 followers, @TourismAus with 49,876 followers, and @dfat with 29,266 followers. There are also approximately 125 APS related Facebook accounts.

Social media can bolster productivity and performance through enhancing internal and inter-agency collaboration, states the report, which reminds readers that social media is about more than merely communication.

“Benefits can be realised through using social media tools to re-think ways of providing information, delivering services, engaging with stakeholders, sourcing ideas and information, responding to requests, and collaborating with clients, citizens and the community.”

The report also looks at the case for whole-of-government (WofG) procurement to save money with economies of scale.

“Changes in technology and market dynamics have invalidated the economic assumptions upon which some devolved procurement has been based,” the report says, adding that “the opportunities to capture economies of scale are growing.”

The report makes reference to WofG email solutions and streamlined Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems as examples where efficiencies can be achieve through streamlined procurement. Both are currently subject to feasibility studies by the Department of Finance.

“A centralised, coordinated approach to ERP transformation will of necessity reduce the ability of agencies to make decisions in isolation and will build a public service that makes collaborative whole-of-APS ERP investment decisions. Continuing with current legacy systems and processes and an ‘organic’ approach to ERP reform will achieve some benefits, but would leave many significant opportunities unrealised,” states the report.  

The report also says that 23% of agencies have already fully digitalised business processes in place and no longer keep paper records.

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