The Victorian Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions is responsible for growing industries and regions to create jobs. Victorian local governments are responsible for regulatory permits for the state’s 556,000 small businesses, helping them to make their communities vibrant.
Victorian small retail businesses face a regulatory burden estimated at $131 million per year for permits such as planning permission and food safety registration. Councils have been taking an average of 200 days to assess and approve some permits, with some businesses waiting up to 18 months. A lack of integration has meant users have had to deal with multiple departments, prompting frustration. The Victorian Government invited participation from councils who wanted to find ways to make it quick and easy to open a small business without compromising public safety.
Nous developed an approach that helped councils research, design and put changes into practice in just eight weeks; drawing on our expertise in regulatory best practice, design, digital, implementation, change management and evaluation. We:
We went beyond merely describing the changes needed to help councils implement them, including through simple business process changes that put the customer front-and-centre using existing technology platforms.
Changes delivered faster small business approvals
Nous reduced the time to approve permits by an average 77 per cent for the first four councils with which we worked, relieving small business users and empowering council staff to take a customer-centred approach to other improvement initiatives. So far more than a dozen Victorian councils have used Nous to help them introduce better approvals and regulators in other states have shown interest. The project was shortlisted for an Institute of Public Administration Australia award for human-centred design service delivery.
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