New myGov app a ‘quantum leap’ for government services

Services Australia has launched the revamped myGov app, in a welcome, but overdue, overhaul of the government services portal.

Minister for government services Bill Shorten says the new app is now available to download from app stores and is just one part of ongoing improvements to the government’s online offerings.

“People expect online services to be simple to use, and the new myGov app is another important step forward in the transformation of Australian government digital services,” he said in a statement.

The new app streamlines the login process and does away with the requirement to enter a long password on your phone. Instead, users can enter a six-digit PIN or use their phone’s security features, such as fingerprint and face scanners, to access the app.

Read: Cyber black market selling hacked ATO and myGov logins

The app also includes a digital wallet to store your government-issued cards and documents. Digital verification through a QR code confirms that the document displayed is both genuine and valid, meaning service providers do not need to store your personal information.

Mr Shorten says these are significant steps forward in tackling fraud and theft of these important documents, especially in light of recent high-profile data breaches.

“You can currently add Centrelink concession cards and your international COVID-19 vaccination certificate to the myGov wallet. Soon, you’ll be able to add additional items, such as your Medicare card,” he said.

“The app also harnesses the in-built accessibility functions of mobile devices, such as displaying larger text or text-to-speech options, to allow Australians to access myGov in the way they want or need.”

Read: Will welfare payment review boost the Age Pension?

A streamlined sign-in process and better security “shouldn’t be revolutionary”, Mr Shorten said, but would be a “quantum leap” for government digital services in Australia.

“[It] means no more annoying myGov inbox messages which then send you somewhere else, to go somewhere else, and you’re chasing your tail all day long,” he said.

The new app comes as Mr Shorten oversees an extensive review into digital government services and also into the methods his predecessor, Stuart Robert, used to award lucrative government contracts.

Read: Services Australia appoints aged care specialist officers

Questions have arisen around Mr Roberts’ links to a lobbying firm that made representations on behalf of a client, who was then awarded the contract to develop the infamous and rarely used COVIDSafe app.

App developer Delv was a client of the Canberra firm lobbying on government contracts and later won $7.5 million to make the app.

Mr Robert allegedly helped to arrange government meetings for the firm’s clients, personally met one client and gave Delv’s CEO advice on making a political donation.

A spokesperson for Mr Robert told The New Daily that it was the department which ultimately made contract decisions, not the minister personally.

“Mr Robert completely rejects the assertions noting all government departments, including the [digital transformation agency], conduct independent procurement processes,” a spokesperson said.

Have you tried the new myGov app? Is it significantly better? Why not share your feedback in the comments section below.

Brad Lockyer
Brad Lockyer
Brad has deep knowledge of retirement income, including Age Pension and other government entitlements, as well as health, money and lifestyle issues facing older Australians. Keen interests in current affairs, politics, sport and entertainment. Digital media professional with more than 10 years experience in the industry.


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