The cost of compliance is a significant burden to business and one that the Australian Government wants to reduce. Its Regulatory Reform Agenda includes a commitment to cutting red tape and removing barriers to competition, innovation, and growth.

We’ve spoken to Michael Clark, Executive Director, Technology and Innovation at the Fair Work Ombudsman, about this reform and how it’s influencing the agency’s move to digital.

Can you tell us more about the Fair Work Ombudsman and what the Government’s Reform Agenda means for the agency?

The Fair Work Ombudsman was established to promote productive workplace relations and ensure compliance with workplace laws. One way we do this is by providing businesses and individuals with information and advice about their workplace rights and obligations.

We’re always looking at how we can better support our stakeholders and make it easier for them to interact with us. The current reform agenda has heightened our focus on eliminating unnecessary red tape and improving productivity.

What prompted your move to digital?

To be a more efficient and effective regulator, we needed to digitise our processes. There was a lot of manual handling involved in securing internal document approvals and executing contracts and deeds. It placed a heavy admin burden on senior management and support staff who spent a lot of time emailing, printing, signing, and scanning documents.

What made you choose DocuSign?

We needed a scalable solution that would help us to digitise simple internal processes first and then streamline more complex workflows later on. DocuSign met this requirement and was also easy to use and completely secure.

Another thing we liked about DocuSign is that users can log into the app and start sending and signing documents right away. This made it easy to speed adoption.

How are you using DocuSign today?

Right now, DocuSign is primarily used for internal approvals and employment contracts, but we’re working with DocuSign to uncover new use cases and assess how we can digitise our case management and enforcement activities.

We’re also about to integrate DocuSign with SharePoint, so employees can sign, send, and manage documents directly from our document management system.

What has been the most valuable aspects of using DocuSign? 

We have had really great feedback on the speed and efficiency that DocuSign provides as well as its ease of use. Also, at the executive level, many of us spend time travelling to and from the agency’s different sites. The ability to sign documents from any device means that we can keep business moving while on-the-go.

In terms of hard savings, the use of DocuSign has reduced the time spent approving and executing internal documents by up to 15 minutes per document. It’s also reduced printing by about 15% per user.

Looking at our roadmap, I think the biggest benefits are yet to come. We want to continue to reduce the burden of regulation and make it easier for people to engage with us. Anywhere we can eliminate the need to print and scan, we will.