28 December 2023

Government tables its response to myGov user audit

| Andrew McLaughlin
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myGov was described in the audit report as indispensable national digital infrastructure. Photo: myGov.

The Federal Government has tabled its response to the report from the myGov User Audit Expert Panel, agreeing or agreeing in principle with all 10 recommendations in the report.

A government statement says the report was tabled at the first Interim Independent Advisory Board meeting in Sydney, chaired by former NSW Digital Government Minister Victor Dominello.

myGov was established in 2014 and is Australia’s largest authenticated digital platform. Daily logins have grown from 265,000 in mid-2017 to more than 1.1 million by September 2022 and, on average, more people use myGov each day than public transport.

The government commissioned the myGov audit in September 2022 to consider the user experience, functions and performance of myGov to shape the future direction and its connection with government services.

Chaired by David Thodey and a panel of experts, the audit received 700 survey responses, 91 public submissions and 20 submissions from government agencies, and held 12 focus groups.

It found that:

  • myGov is indispensable national digital infrastructure.
  • Without further investment and discipline, myGov will not deliver on its promise.
  • Australians often have difficulty finding what they need on the site.
  • Australians who most often need support have the greatest challenges accessing the digital services.
  • Issues relating to managing myGov accounts remain frustrating and create barriers.
  • myGov should be smarter and more helpful.
  • Faster adoption of digital identity is critical for improving government services.
  • The quality of myGov needs to be matched by world-class service and support for user agencies.
  • Continued investment in myGov will yield strong benefits.

READ ALSO Shorten appoints former NSW Minister Victor Dominello to head up myGov Advisory Group

The audit report made 10 recommendations, including:

  1. Confirm myGov as the ”go-to” place for people to access services online from the Australian Government and communicate with all Australians.
  2. Ensure myGov leaves no-one behind and upholds Australians’ human rights.
  3. Legislate myGov as national service delivery infrastructure.
  4. Provide ongoing annual funding of myGov at the same level as the Enhanced myGov program and establish a ”myGov development fund” to resource onboarding of new services and improvement of existing linked services.
  5. Publish during 2023 a rolling five-year roadmap for developing myGov, updated annually.
  6. Accelerate development of Australia’s national digital identity ecosystem, prioritising the protection of security, privacy, safety and other human rights with a view to government digital identity being safe, easy to use and secure.
  7. Introduce by mid-2023 citizen-centred governance and operational arrangements for myGov and myGovID to overcome government siloes and drive inclusion and performance.
  8. Partner with the states and territories on a five-year plan to make it easy for people to find and do what they need to across levels of government.
  9. Design and build myGov in alignment with a refreshed and enforced Australian Government Architecture, incorporating the Design System and the Service Standard.
  10. Services Australia develops and adopts a new world-class approach to service and support to government agencies utilising myGov.

The government said it was already working to implement the recommendations, with an initial investment of $10.8 million this financial year to improve the security and capability of myGov.

This includes the introduction of Passkeys to simplify the myGov sign-in process and keep people’s details safe from phishing scams, the delivery of digital Commonwealth statutory declarations through myGov using a linked Digital ID, identifying the current legislative barriers for myGov and how to improve them, and the establishment of the interim Independent Advisory Board.

Minister for Government Services and Minister for the NDIS Bill Shorten said the myGov user audit provided a significant opportunity to fundamentally reshape government digital service delivery.

“The audit identified myGov’s role as critical national infrastructure but also identified the challenges holding myGov back from reaching its full potential,” he said.

“Digital services should be simple, connected and secure. Importantly, they should also be designed around the needs of the people who use them.

“Labor is taking a commonsense and coordinated approach to streamline and improve online government services for all Australians, keep their information safe through the rollout of Digital ID and other myGov security improvements, and change our long-term investment approach.”

Minister for Finance and Minister for the Public Service Senator Katy Gallagher said myGov played a central and critical role delivering services to Australians.

“Our commitment to myGov puts it at the heart of digital government service delivery,” she said.

“It is the place millions of Australians go to get support from government at all points in their lives, and the audit has highlighted just how important it is for myGov to be a primary entry point for people.

“Implementation will take time but it will lay the foundations to the world-class digital government services that Australians expect and deserve.”

Original Article published by Andrew McLaughlin on Riotact.

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