Industry Engagement for a large government agency

Executive Summary

As part of the 2016-17 Federal Budget the Australian Government announced a study into the feasibility of Electronic Invoicing (e-invoicing). The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) was tasked with leading the operational elements of this study and established a multi-stakeholder forum known as the Digital Business Council to further eInvoicing.

Capability Wise was engaged by the ATO to undertake consultation with the technology and business service industries in support of this initiative. Our team translated international technology trends and complex technology challenges into clear, concise options for consideration by the Council’s nominated representatives. The scope of consultation spanned multiple working parties, including technology, governance, information management and adoption activities. We guided concepts from initial discussion through to concrete decisions using inclusive and collaborative processes.

Our consultants successfully led a diverse segment of the technology industry through a collaboration and co-design process that delivered a comprehensive framework of policies, standards, and guidelines for eInvoicing.

The Challenges

Whilst the invoicing landscape in Australia was ripe for digital disruption there were many barriers to a successful eInvoicing framework. These barriers include: significant commercial and competitive interests; an imbalance of power skewed against small business; and significantly varied technology maturity across the business software industry. To achieve a successful outcome the initiative required the capability to:

  • Translate complex technical information – to enable a level playing field.
  • Broker agreement on complex technology issues – ensuring an open and participatory environment for all.
  • Interpret the global and domestic landscape – including several international initiatives, each with diverse circumstances and solutions.

How Capability Wise Helped

To navigate this complex ecosystem, the ATO sought specialist technology engagement support from Capability Wise. We provided expert consultants with the following capabilities:

  • Technology Thought Leadership – to translate global technology trends into actionable options and solutions.
  • Co-Design Experience – to shape strategic technology objectives into structured consultation plans and tangible co-design outcomes.
  • Stakeholder Needs Analysis – to understand the diverse motivations and goals of the stakeholder ecosystem.
  • Forum Facilitation Skills – to execute ongoing formal engagement activities in a transparent and inclusive manner.
  • Coaching and Mentoring Experience – to enable other team members and industry participants to engage in the co-design and proof of concept activities.

Our consultants quickly established a good rapport and trusted relationship with the stakeholder ecosystem based on their empathetic approach, relevant experience, and their ability to quickly produce credible results.

“The Capability Wise team provided an essential bridge between industry and government, laying the foundation for what has been a highly successful engagement between both groups.”

Isaac Naughton


The Results

The initiative has successfully proven the attractiveness and feasibility of eInvoicing in the Australian context. Several business software industry participants now have production standard eInvoicing solutions and their customers (Australian businesses) are starting to send real invoice information using the framework.

Extensive consultation, co-design and collaboration was co-ordinated between eInvoicing participants, including:

  • 1800 hours of consultation, involving
  • Sixty organisations, spread across
  • Five parallel working groups.

The significant outcomes of this work include:

  • An Interoperability Framework.
  • A fully design solution and funded project for whole of economy digital addressing infrastructure.
  • An Alpha version of the digital addressing infrastructure.
  • Five Proof of Concept or Production Pilot Implementations.

Tags: Digital Government Consultation