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Television Interview - Flashpoint WA

The Hon Bill Shorten MP

Meeting of the Interim Services Australia Independent Advisory Board

At their second full day meeting, members engaged in a constructive review of work being undertaken to deliver on the myGov user audit’s recommendations.

The Board advocated for cross-government engagement and commitment to myGov as the universal front-door when accessing online government services.  Drawing on diverse areas of expertise, members see value in building a connected, cost-effective, robust, and trusted platform which is the first choice for all people dealing with government.

The Board noted the significance of the date, reflecting the 40th anniversary of Medicare, and acknowledged the availability of the Medicare card in the myGov wallet.

myGov usability

Members engaged with synthesised research data and themes to further their awareness of: current usage of myGov; the breadth of user experiences; and ways digital motivators might be leveraged and digital barriers addressed to lift myGov adoption.

They reflected on key insights including:

  • the three lenses of digital inclusion—access, affordability, and ability
  • the importance of first impressions, good experiences, reliability, and trust in keeping people in digital service channels
  • vulnerability, geography, literacy and other circumstances which require tailored and responsive service options within, or complementary to, myGov.

Members recognised that trust in myGov is impacted by people’s experiences of the services they access via myGov and the support available to navigate these services. The quality of the services provided by government agencies through myGov will be integral to building trust in myGov. Investment to maintain and improve the quality of non-digital channels as part of a successful myGov model, such as face to face and telephone support, needs to continue.

myGov enhancements

The Board discussed a range of potential myGov improvements.  Members shared their expert perspectives on how these initiatives may affect myGov’s usability, reach and overall value for Australians, and how both new and current myGov customers may benefit from the changes.

The Board was pleased to see Services Australia iterate the proposed initiatives to make it clear the value each would provide in helping people accessing and communicating with government.

Members are keen to support the Minister for Government Services in solving for known problems and pain points, including that:

  • people need to use many different online platforms to engage with government services
  • eligibility rules and conditions for payments and services are complex and can be overwhelming to people•
  • government messages can be confusing about their legitimacy and what to do next
  • trust in digital is eroded by personal experiences of fraud.

Members considered practical ways government can use the reach and capabilities of myGov to better serve the community including:

  • Proactively reaching out to people who may be entitled to assistance. For example, letting people know they may be eligible for government assistance with their child’s needs.
  • Making it easier to find information about payments and services in one place without having to go to multiple government websites and channels.
  • Improving digital communication from government by providing more context and guiding people through the things they need to do.

Members are conscious of the challenge for Services Australia in enhancing and growing myGov given the structures and processes of government do not readily support joined up services.

The Board encourages government to continue driving a mandate for myGov, building on the foundations of the current service offering.

myGov sustainability

Members considered issues around the enduring value of myGov as national infrastructure, and potential implications of how myGov is funded into the future while ensuring:

  • myGov’s overall value, security and operability is maintained
  • investment in foundational and current initiatives remains supported and effective
  • there are demonstrated benefits for new services considering joining myGov
  • funding mechanisms are transparent and drive value for people.

Joining up different digital agendas

The Board sees value in connecting its work to the broader digital transformation agenda and is motivated to connect efforts in Digital ID and myGov to explore how people can safely use their credentials in the community.

This ambition is grounded in the Board’s understanding of the opportunity for people to have a secure way to prove their identity and use their personal information online. The Board acknowledges the complex legislative, ethical, security and regulatory environment that needs to be understood in order to provide practical advice on the way to move forward.

The Board looks forward to its next meeting in March, when members will have an opportunity to learn more about the Services Australia service delivery ecosystem to further understand these options.

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