10 million myGov users? Nay, Australia exaggerates its digital take-up

DHS doubles down on rubbery myGov numbers only a minister could love. Once a spark of innovation, then a white elephant, the online service portal is at last showing signs of user-focused renewal.

Even myGov’s own executives admit, away from the minister’s earshot, that myGov registrations don’t represent how many Australians have made the switch to digital services.

But in an all-too-common example of measuring processes instead of outcomes, Minister for Human Services Alan Tudge proudly announced this week that “more than 10 million people have now registered with myGov”. Armed with a number and no context, Tudge concludes we must be doing pretty well:

“Very few other nations have had this level of digital take-up,” the minister said in his Department of Human Services fact-checked media release.

Only two years ago, the former minister was announcing the service had reached five million users. User-base doubled in just two years? If it were true, it would indeed be very impressive, given that 10 million is roughly two thirds of Australia’s adult population.

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