Why we are taking a digital-first approach and what this means for users

23 Jul, 2021


The Decision Support Service (DSS) is a new service for all adults who have difficulties with their decision-making capacity. Our job is to register new decision support arrangements and supervise the individuals who are providing a range of supports to people with capacity difficulties.

When we launch in mid-2022, people using our service will be able to log into a portal, create an account and be guided through the process of applying for an arrangement or managing an existing arrangement. It will also be possible to raise queries, access information and guidance, submit complaints and request searches of our registers of arrangements.

We have considered options for our service delivery and looked at the experience of other jurisdictions. We believe that there are many ways in which users will benefit from our service being digital-first. Firstly, digital-led systems are more efficient and more secure than paper-led ones. Paper-based systems are less adaptable and can become easily overwhelmed in times of high demand, leading to backlogs or delays. Physical documents are also hard to track and can easily get damaged or misplaced, which can pose a security risk. Our service has been built from the ground up with efficiency, personal security, and privacy in mind. 
We believe that our digital first approach can enhance accessibility. We are working to ensure that our electronic documentation can be easily understood and navigated by a wide range of users, including persons with disabilities. 

As with many public services, the DSS will require a MyGovID to access services. More information on MyGovID, including how to get a MyGovID, is available here. To protect your information, our system will use two-factor authentication. This is a second security step used to confirm that you are signing into your account. Our system uses a password (something you know) as the first layer of security and a confirmed mobile phone (something you have) as the second layer. This means that even if your password is stolen, your account can’t be accessed by anyone else.

With a digital-first system, you won’t need to search for physical copies of forms or applications. All your information will be accessible in your own individual account, and you’ll be able to easily view arrangements or check the status of applications using a computer, tablet, or your phone. You won’t need to bring cumbersome physical documentation to appointments, such as hospital, bank, or credit union visits. Instead, you can simply access your account on your phone and view all the relevant documents there. Being digital first makes the process faster and smoother for everybody involved.

Another great benefit of digital-first systems is that you won’t need to travel to pick up or submit forms or applications, as this can all be done from the comfort of your own home using your device. 

Finally, relying less on paper means we are kinder to the environment. While recycling can offset some of the environmental impact, it is much more sustainable to simply reduce paper use altogether.

We appreciate that some people will not be in a position to access or use a digital system. We do not intend to be ‘digital-only’ and we will accommodate all service users as necessary. However, we believe that being digital first will be of benefit to the majority of our users and make the process of establishing or monitoring an arrangement simpler and more efficient for everybody.

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