Case Study – Permit Processing Feasibility Study

Role: Cogent was engaged to undertake a feasibility study to investigate the opportunities for greater consistency in systems design, common processes, etc, in permit processing for regulated imports and exports across the Commonwealth. The feasibility study was commissioned by Customs, in partnership with AGIMO, to provide independent assessment and review of the approach towards common processes.

Business Challenge/What Client Wanted: The largest challenge was that there had been some analysis and consultation with up to 40 agencies that would be potentially involved in the mooted whole-of-government processing system, with differing levels of engagement, resistance, and/or acceptance. There was also increasing pressure across government to achieve efficiencies and savings, leading to the proposal for a common, whole-of-government approach. The range of agencies potentially involved in the common processes varied in size and speciality – from the spheres of defence, health, nuclear materials, to wine exporters.

Project Outcomes: Cogent’s team undertook structured questionnaires and consultations with selected agencies to uncover the opportunities, risks and costs and benefits of the proposed common system. We mapped the various processes, identifying commonalities and differences to expose the strengths and weaknesses of the common processing approach. From this information we were able to document the options for the proposed common system, and recommend the proposed approach that would bring the broadest benefit and greatest efficiencies to government and the Australian community.

Cogent’s Dependability & Quality of Work: The feasibility study assessed several options ranging from a whole-of-government case management style system, to re-use of existing systems within agencies, and development of targeted solutions addressing permit processing problem areas. We were able to achieve broad rapport and support for the recommended approach from all stakeholders, even though our recommendation challenged some of the ‘expected outcomes’ that several parties had assumed at the initiation of our engagement. The feasibility study included consultation with selected key agencies, assessment of the options and delivery of the final report within the required time and budget.