Labor has pledged to audit the government’s myGov online services platform and use it to roll out reliability and usability improvements for users.
Opposition leader Anthony Albanese and shadow government services minister Bill Shorten announced the “user audit” over the weekend, as the election campaign enters its final three weeks.
The audit will look at “how well myGov is performing for its most important stakeholders – the Australian public – when it comes to reliability and functionality for a user-friendly experience”.
Reliability and usability have been a bugbear for myGov since the one-stop shop for online services was introduced in 2013, particularly in its first two years.
In response, the then-Department of Human Services (now Services Australia) introduced new hosting infrastructure to address performance issues and later, in mid-2017, revamped the portal.
myGov subsequently received a tick of approval from the national auditor, who declared that DHS’ implementation of the platform had been “largely effective”.
But the upgrades were not enough to stop the platform crashing during the massive surge in demand for welfare in response to the pandemic induced lockdowns in March 2020.
Services Australia are currently working on a more holistic $200 million overhaul of the platform, which remains in beta after two years of work.
Deloitte and Adobe have been paid approximately $75 million for their work on the myGov beta platform, otherwise known as the government digital experience platform.
While Labor acknowledges there have been improvements over the years, Labor said “blind spots and disappointments” remain, including the prevalence of outages.
Labor said it would use the user audit to “help identity what changes and improvements are needed” and assist it to strengthen the portal should it win government later this month.
“Millions of Australians interact with myGov every day and rely on it to provide essential services,” Albanese said.
“It’s not up to scratch, and Australians deserve better. That’s why we will review myGov, and make improvements where necessary.”
Labor has also pledged to guarantee myGov user data is retained within Australia.