Turnbull offers myGov to states in digital by default strategy

Federal communications minister Malcolm Turnbull is offering state and local governments the use of the myGov portal for free as part of a 'tell us once' push for consumers and businesses.

Mr Turnbull told the CeBIT conference in Sydney today that his newly created Digital Transformation Office (DTO) had a number of immediate priorities, including establishing a trusted digital identity framework, improving the functionality of the myGov digital mailbox and developing a 'tell us once' functionality across all government agencies.

myGov currently allows citizens to access government services and agencies such as the PCEHR, Medicare, Centrelink, the Department of Veterans' Affairs, the National Disability Insurance Scheme, child support and the Australian Taxation Office.

Managed by the Department of Human Services (DHS), myGov will also act as the portal for consumer access to their central client record from July as part of the My Aged Care roll-out.

Earlier this year, DHS added optional two-factor authentication to the service, allowing consumers to elect to provide their mobile phone number in order to have an SMS sent to them containing a one-off security code that must be entered into the site before access is granted.

The site's security had come under sustained criticism last year when a security researcher showed how easy it was to hack into an individual myGov account and access personal health information in the PCEHR.

Mr Turnbull told CeBIT that the DTO's mission was to improve the customer experience for citizens and businesses when dealing with government. “We will achieve this by designing services that are simpler and easier to use,” he said.

“The DTO has not been established to chase savings; they will inevitably follow if services are so efficient and easy to use that customers seek them out ahead of less efficient delivery channels such as over the counter.

“The DTO will design services that are simpler and more straightforward. And they will be delivered digitally by default, meaning that anyone will be able to access services from start to finish online using their mobile device.”

He said the establishment of a robust, economy-wide digital identity was central to these plans.

“The trusted digital identity framework will establish a set of principles and standards for the use of accredited government and third-party digital identities across government. It will also involve the use of a voiceprint to access services through telephony and mobile channels.

“The 'tell us once' functionality will enable individuals and businesses to update their contact details with the government once and choose to share this information with other relevant agencies seamlessly through myGov.”

myGov would be offered to all other state and local governments at no cost, other than those associated with the initial “onboarding”.

He also said he wanted to change the siloed approach to IT investment and service delivery across the public service.

“Many agencies are delivering good services, but they're delivering them in isolation or as though they're a standalone business,” he said.

“The DTO will overcome these limitations by taking an across agency – or whole-of-government – approach to investing in common IT platforms that can be used by every agency.”

Posted in Australian eHealth

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