Audit objective and criteria
The objective of the audit was to assess the effectiveness of the Department of Human Services’ implementation of myGov as at November 2016. To form a conclusion against this objective, the ANAO adopted the following high level audit criteria:
- suitable governance arrangements were in place;
- myGov delivered a whole-of-government online service delivery capability;
- myGov improved service delivery for individuals;
- myGov provided an adequate level of performance, security and privacy; and
- myGov delivered value for money.
The Department of Human Services’ implementation of myGov as a platform to deliver whole-of-government online services has been largely effective.
Fit-for-purpose strategic and operational governance arrangements operated for the first three years of the myGov project, followed by a one year gap in strategic governance when interim arrangements had a largely operational focus. This gap was addressed in July 2016 with the
re-establishment of a strategic governance board.
There were 9.5 million user accounts registered in myGov by the end of the four year project—nearly double the business case forecast of 5.1 million. myGov has contributed to improved delivery of government services for individuals by providing three key functionalities—single digital credential, Update Your Details and Inbox—to reduce the time spent transacting with government. Several requirements to improve usability have only recently been implemented and a small number of requirements are yet to be delivered. As at November 2016, there were ten government services available through myGov. While it is not mandatory for member services to participate in myGov, the effectiveness of myGov as a whole-of-government capability has been hampered by government services not joining myGov and not fully adopting the myGov functionalities.
Since late 2015, the myGov platform has been hosted on high-availability infrastructure, which has improved performance, especially during peak demand periods, with performance targets consistently met. Suitable security and privacy measures were in place to control access and protect sensitive data stored in myGov.
In 2012, the Government approved a budget for the myGov project of $29.7 million for 2012–13 to 2015–16 based on the functionalities set out in the business case. The myGov project was not delivered within this original agreed funding, with actual expenditure to June 2016 totalling $86.7 million. Over the four years of the project an additional $37.8 million in funding was approved by Government, and Human Services funded the remaining $19.2 million from a pre-approved ICT contingency fund. Departmental records indicate that the increase in operating expenses over the four years of the project—from $8.5 million in 2012–13 to $37.3 million in 2015–16—was primarily driven by the costs associated with supporting the large number of user accounts (nearly double the forecast) and the improved high-availability infrastructure.
Performance metrics to enable the quantification of actual savings in the six areas identified in the business case were not developed. In the absence of such metrics, it is not possible to determine whether the expected savings have been realised in all six areas.