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Councillor Angela Vithoulkas Question on Notice

Easy to do business initiative with Service NSW

Easy to do business initiative with Service NSW (S129276)

8. By Councillor Vithoulkas

Question

The Easy to Do Business initiative by Service NSW and the NSW Small Business Commissioner is leading the way in removing barriers and making it faster and easier to start, grow and run a small business.

Councillor Chung put forward a notice of motion at the Council meeting of 26 June 2017, requesting that the CEO take the necessary steps to join the” Easy do to Business” initiative of the NSW Government and report back to Council to advise the progress.

Councillor Chung’s notice of motion was amended by Councillor Miller who requested that the Chief Executive Officer:  (i) investigate the “Easy to do Business” initiative of the NSW Government and assess the benefits to support the work the City does to support small business; and (ii) report back to Councillors via the CEO Update. The motion, as varied by consent, was carried unanimously.

What was the outcome of the CEO’s investigation of the initiative?

When will the City be joining other local government areas in implementing the Easy to Do Business initiative?

Answer by the Lord Mayor

City staff and Service NSW have met on several occasions over the last 12 months to discuss the digital service offering, ‘Easy to do Business’.

On the information received from Service NSW, Easy to do Business aims to simplify the customer experience, by providing one application per business owner across a variety of agencies, such as setting up a business, seeking a development consent and a liquor licence. It does not change the way the City and other agencies process and assess applications. Once the customer has made the application, the City would undertake the usual communication with the customer up to and including advice of the outcome of the application.

Issues discussed included the intended improvements to the customer journey, the process flow and the potential for e-planning systems integration. Discussions have also covered the relative complexity of the City of Sydney planning and development landscape, such as the lock-out laws, which don’t apply to other local government areas. This is important to understand in relation to Service NSW’s service delivery performance indicators, and whether the City can commit to them.

City staff have asked Service NSW to provide feedback from the four councils in NSW that are currently using the Easy to do Business platform, to learn from their experience. While staff understand that 129 customers are at various stages of application across the four councils, it is not clear whether any applications have been completed.

City staff will continue to liaise with Service NSW about the Easy to do Business initiative and once further information has been sought about the experience of the other four councils within NSW that are using the online portal, and potential e-planning integration, a further update will be provided to Councillors.

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