The purpose of the audit was to determine:

  • whether the planning and implementation of the DSS Teleservice project has been adequate to ensure successful operations;
  • the efficiency and administrative effectiveness of Teleservice Centre management practices;
  • whether Teleservice Centres have been successful in delivering the anticipated improvements to client service; and
  • what opportunities might be available for improvement in the operation of the Centres.

An important aim of the audit was to ascertain with DSS what value could be added by identifying more administratively effective and efficient means of managing and operating their Teleservice Centre network. In addition, the ANAO considered that the experience gained and lessons learned from the introduction of Teleservice operations by DSS could improve the planning and implementation of major technology-based operational and client service initiatives in the future, both in DSS and the Australian Public Service (APS) generally.

In carrying out the audit, the ANAO undertook an extensive examination of the Teleservice environment including:

  • examining the experience and practices of private sector call centre operations;
  • reviewing the DSS Teleservice network, involving detailed discussions with departmental officers, examining files and data and observing Teleservice Centre operations; as well as
  • consulting a range of community groups and government agencies familiar with DSS's Teleservice Centre services.