Auditor-General gives myGov website a tick of approval

Positive reviews for improvements to myGov site, despite budget blowout.

Auditor-General gives myGov website a tick of approval

The Auditor-General’s office has released its report into the myGov portal and the reviews are largely positive.

The report found that the Department of Human Services’ implementation of myGov as a platform to deliver whole-of-government online services has been “largely effective”.

It also found that the portal had delivered well beyond expectations, with many more users than were predicted at the start of the project.

When the portal was launched in May 2013 it was expected to attract 5 million users in the first four years, instead it reached nearly double that figure, with 9.5 million users registering.

While the portal suffered teething problems, causing frustration for customers, these were rectified late in 2015. The platform was moved onto new infrastructure which improved performance, especially during peak demand periods.

Dealing with the larger than expected workload did come at a cost, however. The project exceeded its budget by nearly three times.

In 2012, the Government approved a myGov project budget of $29.7 million over four years. But the actual costs blew out to $86.7 million.

Minister for Human Services Alan Tudge said the findings confirm myGov is capable of delivering the benefits of eGovernment to Australians.

“The Coalition Government is making unprecedented investments into IT and better digital services. These investments are now paying off big time for Australian citizens,” Mr Tudge said.

“myGov is now one of the largest digital services in the country, with an average of 242,000 people successfully using the capability daily. It’s making access to government services simpler and faster for Australians.’’

Opinion: myGov is much better, but could it have been fixed sooner?

It is clear that the myGov portal has come a long way from the teething problems that made it so frustrating in the early days. It is now easy to access and use, but that wasn’t always the case.

As the auditors note, one of the big problems early on was the sign-in process.

“Human Services was aware of the reported issues with the myGov sign-in process from  September 2014,” the auditors wrote.

“Resolving this issue was reportedly Human Services’ top priority, as set out in its Top Ten list of reported issues.

“However, a resolution was not implemented until June 2016 – more than 21 months later.”

The Department of Human Services (DHS) told the auditors that it simply did not have the funding to act any earlier.

That may have been true, but given that the DHS claims myGov has already saved more than $109 million, this should have been a much higher priority.

It is impossible to know how many potential users turned away from the system after experiencing difficulties, never to return.

If issues arise in future, it is imperative that myGov remains well-funded so that it can quickly address any concerns.

One of the key recommendations from the auditor’s report is to establish a framework to monitor the website’s performance, overseen by the Digital Transformation Agency (DTA). This recommendation has been accepted, so hopefully it will be implemented and myGov will remain well-funded.

Are you aware of the myGov website and, if so, do you use it? If not, why not? What do you think about its performance? Are you happy with the improvements or are you still having problems?

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    COMMENTS

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    DaveL
    29th Jun 2017
    11:07am
    Logged into Mygov last couple of days, clicked on ATO, came up with "loading" and stopped. Error message 951.09.
    Told to come back later as MYgov had problems when I called.
    FGBGazza
    29th Jun 2017
    11:18am
    With all the Cyber attacks and hacking recently occurring globally, how confident can MyGov users be that their information is secure? I regularly use MyGov, but it appears that the potential for leaks and attacks is rising which will erode any confidence in the security of the system.
    grounded
    29th Jun 2017
    11:18am
    Good to see the Government introducing legislation that cares for its' citizens.

    Per usual, it is always an LNP Government that has to take the bit in the mouth and effect good change. Wouldn't be surprised to see an LNP Government introduce SSM in the not to distant future....when only three and a half years back, a Labor Government wouldn't have a bar of it....
    Anonymous
    29th Jun 2017
    11:26am
    Historically, that's a load of old cobblers. LABOR has been the party to "effect good change" - e.g. Medibank/Medicare, inexpensive tertiary education, etc. The Li(e)berals look after only the rich. As for same-sex 'marriage', that's an oxymoron.
    Charlie
    29th Jun 2017
    11:42am
    The energy survey in today's topics needs fixing. It has a window that says "mobile" and it wont allow you to complete the survey unless you put your a mobile number in the box.

    Do we have survey writers who are so young, they have never heard of a landline phone.?

    It wont accept a bodgee number either, but they are not getting my mobile number because it is for private calls.

    Anyway its all a bit silly because everyone knows north Queensland only has one energy provider and that's Ergon.
    AutumnOz
    29th Jun 2017
    1:43pm
    Charlie, check and see if there is a space you can fill in "I do not own a mobile phone" or alternately put Not applicable into the spot for the mobile number.
    Not everyone has a mobile and many people live in black spots where the is little or no coverage.

    Yes I think there probably people so young they don't understand life without a mobile phone. I do not own a mobile phone and even if I moved to the city I wouldn't have one.
    Rae
    30th Jun 2017
    8:36am
    I simply refuse to give out the number as I spend enough time deleting junk off the computer to start getting it on the phone. they on sell the numbers to every robot sales gimmick around as far as I can see.
    Rangi
    29th Jun 2017
    11:46am
    Grounded appears to be well and truly misinformed; the LNP govt. has has taken exceptional steps to disadvantage the ordinary citizens, and in particular pensioners. LNP has traditionally looked after the big business end of town with little or no regard for those at the other end of the scale.
    Grateful
    29th Jun 2017
    11:57am
    It is still an absolute JOKE!!!! Wouldn't have a bar of it with the way it is operating now and with all of those cyber attacks. How can we trust them with ALL of our details when they can't even get the basic registration system working??????
    KSS
    29th Jun 2017
    12:08pm
    I have used mygov for car registration and it works just fine.
    Theo1943
    29th Jun 2017
    2:47pm
    Car rego is a State function. Not on my myGov
    Theo1943
    29th Jun 2017
    2:47pm
    Car rego is a State function. Not on my myGov
    fearlessfly
    29th Jun 2017
    12:26pm
    We have been using it since it's inception, never had any issues at all with it. Maybe that's because we are both IT techos and the system divined that it would be a waste of time to dick us around ! :-)
    Grateful
    29th Jun 2017
    12:51pm
    Just try to log on or register if you and your spouse share the same email and home address. Blows them out of the water.
    Good luck feralessfly, hope you've got good malware.
    niemakawa
    29th Jun 2017
    2:19pm
    Grateful, Yes sharing the same email address can cause some concern for the user. You can logon using a Login ID or email address.
    Andy Leucite
    29th Jun 2017
    1:03pm
    I've used myGov for a year or two and have had constant problems with it. (An by the way, who on earth dreamed up the name 'myGov' - it certainly doesn't endear me to whichever government is in power, nor give me a sense of ownership in what it does!!). I have three science degrees and have used computers and digital platforms for more decades than I care to remember, but often find the site extremely frustrating, illogical and often plane opaque. How do little old ladies cope (no disrespect to them - my wife is one, and, having had no opportunity to learn about computers etc, she could no more use the site than sculpt a masterpiece in marble). Luckily she is registered for paper correspondence etc, and that is lucky because there have been many times when my digital correspondence has been inaccessible for downloading, and the process of uploading has left me wondering whether it actually works because I get no confirmation, much less a receipt that my submitted information has been sent much less received. I gave up on that and submit paper documents by mail, but bitter experience has taught me that even my paper documents disappear into the system never to be seen again, and sometimes with disastrous consequences that the resulting apparent noncompliance on my behalf causes, for example, my/our pension is summarily cancelled.

    Back to my Gov. Over the last couple of weeks I have had emails telling me that I have digital correspondence from Centrelink. When, after some difficulty I have located the links to this correspondence on the appropriate web page, I kept receiving a black screen with the error message "Plug-In" blocked. After several attempts to communicate on-line about this problem, with none of them acknowledged or much less dealt with, I finally managed to get hold of a real myGov operator on the phone. She was helpful and read me the mail I couldn't access, and agreed there was a problem, and that others had complained about the same "Plug-In Blocked" problem. She managed to snare a nearby IT person who relayed instructions that I should go to my browser (the most up-to-date Safari) and check the permissions for the my-Gov browser in my security preferences, and switch permission on, if some glitch had somehow switched it off! Although I doubt that some superficial computer users could even do this little task, I found it easy, only to discover there was no listing of a myGov plug-in at all!! Luckily the lady had given me a precious help desk phone number (that months of looking had not enabled me to find on my own) and I rang that. After quite a few minutes another nice lady answered, and acknowledged that my discovery was indeed the fundamental flaw in my machine's inability to connect to my mail, and that the problem had arisen since the latest automatic update of Safari on my machine and many others. She announced that I would have to instal a new Browser, rather than myGov IT people finding a work-around for the newest version of Safari. I couldn't believe this - the problem was put back in my lap to fix, yet the Safari browser would be the most used (and standard) one for the majority of Mac users. IT geeks can no longer ignore the fact that the world has moved on and that a significant portion of people no longer use Windows and related software platforms, yet in the case of the IT geeks at myGov this seems to still be the attitude. I have now installed a second browser on my machine, just to be used to read my myGOV mail. It works, but I am not happy!! As I told one of the operators I dealt with, and have told many Centrelink and more recently also myGov assistants over the years, I could write a thick book about my dealings with Centrelink etc over the last ten years or so, and almost every page would be a horror story. I hasten to tell the assistants I am talking to that it is not their fault, and I appreciate any assistance they can give me (sometimes useful assistance and sometimes not, but again not their fault). The assistants usually agree with my criticisms about the massive shortcomings of the systems and requirements of the organisation they work for. I feel sorry for them. If I ever end up locked in a funny farm, it will be Centrelink and myGov that have been responsible for the deterioration in my mental well-being!!
    niemakawa
    29th Jun 2017
    3:01pm
    This is the email message sent by myGov to users when you have new correspondence.

    ""You have a new message in your Inbox. To view your message sign in to your myGov account""

    As soon as I log-in the message along with all previous ones are diplayed at the bottom of the screen. I have never encountered the problem re: Plug-ins

    Also samw tih upoloaded docments, to review them I just go to uploaded documents in the menu section of the Centrelink portal and print them out if necessary. They are kept indefinitely in the system I believe.
    Andy Leucite
    29th Jun 2017
    1:05pm
    Please read "plain" instead of "plane" in the second sentence of my comment above!!
    Dabbydoos
    29th Jun 2017
    1:14pm
    Tried numerous times over numerous days to access my Gov, this was only last week. Every time notice said the site was inaccessible finally had to ring and wait the normal 70 minutes. Finally was told to ring my local council in a demeaning manner. When I accessed the site some weeks ago to change the details of my bank account although I completed every required box, nothing happened, again had to ring and talk to someone to get the job done. Both attempts left me frustrated and anxious.
    KB
    29th Jun 2017
    1:20pm
    I do and have no choice.My daughter has continual problems accessing my gov particularly the taxation web site. My gov unreliable and not functional
    grounded
    29th Jun 2017
    1:47pm
    I have made repeated contact with the MyGov site...Never had one bad experience.

    I often sit and just look at it on the monitor screen and say to myself, "how has the Government got such a perfectly working cyber facility....never a glitch in the slightest form."
    Rae
    29th Jun 2017
    1:48pm
    No I haven't even tried it. I'm an Apple user so I'm not prepared to waste my time until mac compatibility is sorted.
    Theo1943
    29th Jun 2017
    2:56pm
    Best and easiest way to sort out Mac compatibility is to turn off your Mac, place it in the recycling bin, and get a real computer, with a real browser.????
    fearlessfly
    29th Jun 2017
    6:45pm
    Ha, ha, Theo1943, one of the best tips I've seen for a while !
    Rae
    30th Jun 2017
    8:40am
    Haha except I love my apple and it runs apps just dandy as far as I can see. All three kids are apple uses as well.
    Keith
    29th Jun 2017
    1:53pm
    Yes, the MyGov site works most of the time. I find it strange having to be notified in my normal e-mail that I have to log in to MyGov to read the e-mail in there. It's really hard to do your tax if you don't have a MyGov account, it sends you around in circles. I have to remember my wife's, my daughter's and my own login to do all the tax returns each year.
    niemakawa
    29th Jun 2017
    3:23pm
    Paper forms for tax return have to be requested by 'phone from the ATO. That's a big task in itself. myGov is being rolled out to more people and it seems that without one life will become more difficult to access the Government services.. I understand that it will be compulsory in the not too distant future to have a myGov .
    niemakawa
    29th Jun 2017
    2:15pm
    I have used myGov since its inaugaration, mainly to access Centrelink. Rarely encountered any problems with logging into the system.
    anna
    29th Jun 2017
    2:53pm
    I haven't been able to get a Health care card -even though my husband has one and we have the same income because:
    First delay - MyGov had lost my application
    Second- said that it was knocked back because I hadn't shown my ID (yes I had)
    Third-I went to Centrelink, waited for an hour and a half, showed my ID (again) there and sat while the woman typed all information in and said,"All fixed."
    Fourth- Nothing yet again. I sent an email to say what's up now? basically. I was told an email could take a while to be answered.
    I applied last October. All the delays have brought us up to July.The email in Fourth above was sent three months ago
    I wouldn't call that a well-run, efficient service. I could ring of course, but that would mean another hour and a half wait at least and I only use an iPhone, not a landline.
    Bill
    29th Jun 2017
    3:34pm
    In that case the A-G is a bloody idiot. Every time I have used it I have to reset the password. Once a real u-beaut clerk at the ever helpful C'link tried to get it to work properly and it locked my computer.

    Yep, I think the A-0G ought to look in the mirror each day and judge himself.
    Bill
    29th Jun 2017
    3:36pm
    To my experience (limited) mygov is , always has been and always will be a dud.
    Bill
    29th Jun 2017
    3:37pm
    "Teething" problems. If my experience is th3e milk teeth, I'd hate to see, or experience, the permanent teeth.
    GeorgeM
    29th Jun 2017
    11:18pm
    Yep, "teething problems" are standard language for INCOMPETENCE, incidentally these being at taxpayer's expense. Cost blow-outs, including disasters such as the Robo Debt Recovery system, the ABS Census debacle, etc, are a regular feature of these Govt depts, besides the poor quality systems delivered. They are clearly hiring the wrong IT people / companies - maybe favoured ones?
    jzb
    29th Jun 2017
    5:28pm
    I was advised by email I had a letter from My Gov so logged on but couldn't access the correspondence as it kept coming up blank. I found it easier when it was run by Centrelink, no problems there.
    niemakawa
    29th Jun 2017
    5:33pm
    Once logged in did you scroll down the screen? All the messages should be shown below. That's from my own experience

    29th Jun 2017
    5:39pm
    I find it interesting that a website prepared by public servants, started when one side of politics was in power and carried on when the power changed sides, suddenly becomes the fault of one side or the other. I would have though that something as mundane as a website, designed to assist people, would be apolitical.
    Wired
    29th Jun 2017
    8:04pm
    I am frustrated with myGov as it is connected to the mobile phone you register and if you happen to change your mobile phone then how can you access the code they send you
    In spite if contacting them and getting confirmation that I can reregister as they have cleared my email account no luck when I tried afain
    Crimmo
    29th Jun 2017
    11:55pm
    When a government department has a letter to send you, why don't they just email it to you directly, rather that sending you an email telling you to log into MyGov to access the letter. It is also a pain in the arse having to go through MyGov to lodge your tax return electronically.
    johninmelb
    1st Jul 2017
    1:14pm
    Can anyone tell me why it is mostly only people who subscribe to this site who have problems with MyGov??

    I'm an older person, use a simple Windows 7 laptop computer, do have some computer skills, and have never had a problem once with MyGov, even when it was awful during the early days.

    I get an sms telling me there is a new letter etc, I log in, read my letter, save it on MyGov to the relevant folders I've set up for Clink and ATO, and then log out. It is so simple, a child could do it.

    None of you have problems logging in and ranting about nothing on this site. MyGov is no more difficult.