Users registered to Australian government’s online service portal reaches 10m

By on 24/08/2016
The homepage of Australian government's online service portal myGov

More than 10 million internet users have registered with the Australian government’s online service portal myGov, which has come under attack by citizens who complained of malfunctions of the site.

The myGov site was launched in 2013 to provide citizens with a one-stop shop to a range of government services such as healthcare and welfare.

However, since then, serious problems have emerged with the security and operability of the site, with users complaining of being locked out of their accounts or unable to complete tasks such as filing tax returns.

Angus Taylor, assistant minister for cities and digital transformation, on Monday announced that “the government has made significant improvements to myGov in recent months addressing many of the frustrations expressed by users in public feedback” while adding that myGov was “now one of the biggest digital services in Australia.”

Following negative feedback from citizens attempting to use myGov, users are now able log in “with their username or email address which reduced incorrect logins by 37 per cent” and the length of time users are locked out of their account for entering the wrong password has been reduced from 12 hours to two, “reducing the frustration for people who want to complete their business in the same day.”

He also promised further upgrades “in the months ahead” such as “improved usability of myGov across devices, particularly on mobile”; a “smoother user experience”; and “improved tools for staff to support users with their myGov enquiries.”

The improvements are part of the government’s promise to spend $50 million on myGov before the federal election this July.

Taylor said that, while on average 160,000 people use myGov each day, during the tax time peak this July, over 660,000 people logged in on a single day.

Overall, he added, there were 14.2 million logins this July, compared to 7.5 million the year before.

Responsibility for myGov which allows citizens to access their Centrelink, Medicare, Child Support, Department of Veteran Affairs, e-health, DisabilityCare and Australian Tax Office accounts, was transferred from Human Services to the Digital Transformation Office (DTO) at the beginning of this year.

The DTO was set up Malcolm Turnbull, who was communications minister before becoming prime minister after defeating Tony Abbott in a leadership election in September 2015.

He appointed Paul Shetler, who had previously worked at the UK’s Government Digital Service, to lead the new organisation as chief executive.

Click here to read our exclusive interview with Paul Shetler

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Paul Shetler, chief executive, Digital Transformation Office, government of Australia: Exclusive interview

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About Winnie Agbonlahor

Winnie is news editor of Global Government Forum. She previously reported for Civil Service World - the trade magazine for senior UK government officials. Originally from Germany, Winnie first came to the UK in 2006 to study a BA in Journalism & Russian at the University of Sheffield. She is bilingual in English and German, and, after spending an academic year abroad in Russia and reporting for the Moscow Times, Winnie also speaks Russian fluently.

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