DTO takes over MyGov

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DTO takes over MyGov

PM's pet agency seizes control of infamous portal.

Malcolm Turnbull’s digital transformation office has formally taken the reins of the high-profile MyGov digital services portal.

MyGov is the commonwealth-wide platform that delivers a single interface to Australians wanting to access online government services like tax returns and health records. Until this point the website has been led and controlled by the Department of Human Services.

But the DTO has now taken over the technical operation of the platform, a spokeswoman for the Coalition confirmed to iTnews.

The Department of Human Services will, however, maintain an involvement in the program at an administrative and support level.

Rumours of an impending handover circulated back in January, but as recently as April DHS denied any such plans existed.

“The Department of Human Services continues to deliver the MyGov digital service on behalf of the Australian government under the existing administrative arrangements order,” the department wrote in response to a question on notice asked during senate estimates.

iTnews has been unable to confirm whether the administrative arrangements order - the document assigning the functions of government between agencies - has in fact been changed.

But in the May budget, as part of a $50.5 million pledge to improve the occasionally troubled MyGov system, the government formed its first inter-agency MyGov taskforce featuring representatives from DHS and DTO, plus Treasury and the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet.

While the bulk of the money was allocated to the DHS - which will continue to do the heavy-lifting support work for the MyGov platform - the much smaller DTO was also given a $2.8 million slice of the funding.

It is not the first time MyGov has changed hands.

The idea originated inside the now-defunct Australian Government Information Management Office (AGIMO) within the Department of Finance, before being brought to life by DHS and its hefty back-office IT shop.

The move means the Prime Minister’s pet agency will also take over the task of rebuilding MyGov’s reputation amongst users, following a handful of high-profile outages, security incursions and ongoing usability issues.

Earlier this year, DHS chief digital officer Tam Shepherd outlined his plans to improve MyGov usability by allowing users to set their own username and reducing the lock-out periods after failed login attempts, amongst other changes.

The department has already made some progress on its outlined changes.

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