‘Tell us once’: myGov juggernaut tackles customer fatigue

Reducing red tape and form duplication wasn’t in the original plan for myGov, but strength of a good idea has an ambition and momentum of its own. Human Services CIO Gary Sterrenberg speaks to Miguel Carrasco about the potential game changer in public service delivery.

There is no doubt that technology can make our lives a lot easier. For example, I’d take the convenience of pre-filled online tax returns with electronic assessment notices and refunds via EFT, over paper forms, letters and cheques any day. But it would be remiss not to admit that there can be downsides. In countries that don’t have a single citizen identifier, remembering all the usernames, passwords, PINs, secret questions and so forth required to ensure online services are secure, can be a real hassle.

Fortunately, in Australia, the federal government is developing an identity service designed to respect local attitudes towards privacy and identity but still simplify the way people authenticate themselves and prove their identity across the government agencies. myGov will be a secure online identity solution that bridges the air-gaps between agencies without resorting to a single central database of personal information.

Gary Sterrenberg

Gary Sterrenberg

Over 6 million accounts have already been created and there are now plans to expand it to encompass more services across federal and state government services, as well as the potential to open up more to involve the private sector and non-government players. But, for Gary Sterrenberg the chief information officer of the Department of Human Services, which is responsible for myGov’s IT infrastructure, this level of success is, while gratifying, only the beginning.

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