Behavioural insights driving public policy innovation

Behavioural insights driving public policy innovation

Domestic Policy Behavioural Economics
Friday, 22 June 2018

Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet

In recent years, governments around the world have been developing behavioural insights (BI) capability in order to deliver better and more efficient services to citizens.

The Behavioural Economics Team of the Australian Government here at PM&C, known as BETA, is leading this work for the Australian Government. In Sydney on 25 and 26 June 2018, BETA will host the Behavioural Exchange Conference (BX 2018) – the international BI conference previously held in Boston, London, and Singapore.

In the lead up to BX 2018, BETA has released two reports demonstrating how behavioural insights can improve the lives of Australians.

Improved compliance with the Deferred GST Scheme

Behaviourally informed emails improved compliance among businesses using the Deferred GST Scheme. The Scheme allows businesses to defer GST payments on taxable imports until after the goods are sold, which helps with cash flow. About one in three businesses do not comply with the requirements to remain eligible.

Simple, salient emails helped non-compliant businesses comply with the Scheme. The best performing email improved compliance by 13 percentage points (from 33 per cent to 46 per cent).

Easy as pie: encouraging greater survey completion

BETA partnered with the Department of Social Services (DSS) to develop and tests ways to encourage greater survey completion rates. DSS conducts a survey seeking client feedback on the outcomes they have experienced as a result of services delivered by grant funded organisations. Five behaviourally informed survey progress updates accompanied by a graphic increased survey completion by 6.8 percentage points (from 84.7 to 91.5 per cent).

Find out more about BI innovations from around the world at the BX2018 conference, 25-26 June 2018 in Sydney. Book your tickets at