The Victorian Government has allocated $52.9 million for “digital government and communications” over the next financial year, as more citizens are going online for services.

The new budget, released yesterday, also revealed the success of services will now be measured against customer satisfaction rather than traditional project delivery metrics.

According to the budget, the previous year’s corresponding services spend had blown out from a planned $47.5 million to $92.7 million because of the cost of Service Victoria’s new customer digital services platform and an “output reclassification” where a whole of government API program was transferred to the digital government and communications output.

The latest services allocation will be used to “improve service delivery and business processes, and provides information and services to Victorian citizens and businesses through digital and other delivery channels,” according to budget papers.

The Victorian Department of Premier and Cabinet will receive $3.6 million split evenly over the next two years to better understand and respond to citizens’ needs. According to the budget papers the money will be spent on social media engagement and monitoring, and enhancing policy and services through data analytics and user experience design.

Some of the money will go to Service Victoria as it continues to develop new service platform and customer facing website, in an attempt to amalgamate several government services similar to Service NSW.

The state Labor Government has changed its key performance metric from the traditional “delivery of projects within agreed timelines” to the new “overall satisfaction of customers transacting on the Service Victoria platform”. The goal is a 95 per cent satisfaction rate.

For comparison, Service NSW, widely considered the leader in state digital services, has a 97 per cent satisfaction rate, according to its latest annual report.

In the current financial year around 350,000 people will access Vic.gov.au each month, according to the budget papers, an increase on the expected amount of 300,000. The extra visits are down to platform enhancements and the consolidation of several websites, according to the government. Another jump is expected next financial year as more content becomes available.

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