We are an all of government lab focused on cross agency design and development to experiment, drive and enable the systemic change of government to improve people’s experiences when they interact with government.


We do the tricky technical work to make it easy for you.

We have been setup to:

  • Grow the ecosystem of services built with government components
  • Reduce barriers to building better digital services
  • Accelerate development of life event services
  • Change perceptions of government being slow and behind with technology
  • Enable a culture of experimentation and adaptiveness
  • Provide a neutral place not linked to a specific agency, product or service in order to provide an outside-in ‘joined up’ view of government services.

Work Programme

The Service Innovation Work Programme outlines what we do. It comprises initiatives that usually fall outside the remit, capability or budget of a single agency. These initiatives are prioritised by the Service Innovation Reference Group and fall into the following streams:

  1. Integrated services - Delivering joined-up government services (agencies, NGOs, private sector) where it makes sense.
  2. Digital transactions - Maintaining the momentum of moving to digital channels and supporting life event initiatives.
  3. Proactive delivery - Delivering entitlements to customers without them having to apply.
  4. Information sharing - Allowing consent-based personal information sharing.
  5. Digital Identity - Supporting customer online identity.

All the initiatives we work on are service delivery focused. They either help people interact with government directly or indirectly by improving the behind the scenes processes and infrastructure to enable a better experience for those who deliver them and receive them. This indirect work is part of our goal of opening up government services and data so it can be reused safely by other parts of local and central government but private sector and NGO service providers. We call this Government as a Platform.

Basically it’s about ensuring people’s government experiences are easy, equitable and empathetic. Whether directly or through their own trusted channel or service provider.

The Service Innovation Lab 2017-18 FY Work Program Report


We are an interdisciplinary team with backgrounds in agile, design, policy and technology. We use evidence based decision making and design thinking to transform government service experiences.

We work in the open to prevent problem shifting and duplication and increase the sharing, reuse and adaptation of tools and approaches.

By partnering with other agencies, not for profits, private organisations and other governments we can understand the whole service system to identify and test the best ways to create lasting change. While we have a digital focus we ensure people’s needs are considered first as we collaboratively work on creating customer centric services regardless of agency channel preferences.

Our approach aims to reduce risk and increase the impact of innovation across government and do this through delivery.

There are two ways to work with us - in partnership with the lab team to help deliver the work programme or by using the collaborative and workshop spaces.


In 2012 Better Public Services (BPS) initiative was formed with 10 focus areas for government. One of these, known as Result 10, aimed to improve interaction with government. Research uncovered many pain points for people when accessing government services, especially where they needed to interact with multiple government agencies. For example: when applying for financial support related to a significant life event such as having a baby. Poorly integrated digital services were pushing customers back to non-digital channels this became the driver of our approach and work.

In 2013 the Digital Service Council (DSC), comprising eight agencies, was established to provide governance to this programme. In 2014 priority was given to integrated services associated with life events. To support this strategy a Partnership Framework was established with the ICT Senior Leadership Group (ICT SLG) of agency Chief Executives (CEs) and the Service Innovation Working Group (SIWG) comprising service delivery Deputy Chief Executives (DCE’s). DSC also agreed for agencies to develop a federated model of service delivery to reduce customer effort and deliver efficiencies for agencies.

November 2015 a Service Innovation Reference Group (SIRG) was established to provide support to SIWG by detailing of the work programme and initiatives.

February 2016 The Service Innovation Lab (the Lab) was founded with support from the Service Innovation Work Programme Team from Internal Affairs, Assurity Consulting Ltd and direction from the SIRG. Secretariat and management overview is provided by Internal Affairs, which is the Government’s functional lead agency for digital development. Internal Affairs’ chief Executive is the Government Chief Digital Officer and the agency is one of several belonging to the Government Digital Partnership group.

Today the lab is working with multiple agencies on delivering the work programme and commitments to initiatives such as the Digital Nations with funding till June 2019.