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In the Australian government, a SmartForm is an electronic form with capabilities beyond a traditional paper form, such as electronic completion, dynamic sections, database calls and electronic submission. The Australian government established a specialist unit called the SmartForms Developer Center[1] to encourage and assist Government Agencies to transform their current paper forms to SmartForms. The aim of this is to improve both their own internal processing as well the service they are providing to their constituents.[2]

In 2008, the use of SmartForms was named a best practice initiative by the Australian Government Information Management Office in the Review of the Australian Government's Use of ICT.[3]


  • Lower cost of processing submitted forms
  • Fewer data entry errors
  • Lower postage and mail handling costs
  • Enables the use of digital signatures for non-repudiation
  • SmartForms can be saved offline
  • Files can be attached to the form
  • Submitted forms can be easily integrated with back office systems using XML data

Use in Government[edit]

The Federal Australian Department of Industry and Science coordinates SmartForms initiatives across Australian government agencies.[4][5] Departments currently using SmartForms include NSW Local Government Agencies,[6][7] Victorian State Government,[8] NT State Government[9] and the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations.[10]

The Australian Department of Finance and Deregulation is promoting a Whole of Government SmartForms solution under a $42M Australian Government Online Service Point[11] program. This SmartForm solution is based on Avoka Transact.


There are a number technologies that can deliver SmartForm benefits with varying levels of capability. These include:

XFA Forms
XFA refers to Adobe XFA Forms platform which can be used to render PDF, Adobe Flex or HTML based forms.
Xforms refers to a W3c XML Forms architecture. Solutions implementing XForms include IBM Lotus Forms, Open Data Kit (ODK) and Group Complete (ODK compatible).
InfoPath Forms
InfoPath refers to Microsoft Office InfoPath XML form technology. On January 31, 2014, Microsoft said they are discontinuing InfoPath Forms Services.[12]
FormPublisher Forms
FormPublisher refers to Jway XML form technology. FormPublisher Forms is a Smart Form that dynamically adapts to user responses and the process context.


13. Avoka Transact