CHART: The cost to taxpayers for a single call to a government service is ridiculously high

Image: Richard Pohle / Getty.

About 40% of around 811 million transactions Australians make with the government are still completed using traditional, analog methods – over the phone, face-to-face or by mail.

It’s something communications minister Malcolm Turnbull, through his Digital Transformation Office, is starting to tackle.

Moving just 20% of analogue transactions such as passport registrations, tax returns and benefits payments online could save the government $17.9 billion over 10 years, according to a Deloitte Access Economics report commissioned by Adobe.

Out-of-pocket costs to citizens would also be worth a further $8.7 billion. The report suggests the new systems would cost about $6.1 billion to implement, with digital transformation delivering benefits worth around four times as much as they cost.

This chart from the report shows just how much popping into a Medicare office or calling Centrelink, for example, costs the government.

Going online is not only much cheaper to administer, it’s also generally a simpler experience.

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