Year Published: 2017
Sector: Cross Government, Revenue and Taxation
The myGov digital service (myGov) is an entry portal for individuals to access the services of participating government entities. It was launched in May 2013 to provide individuals with secure online access to a range of Australian Government services in one place. It was expected to provide a whole-of-government digital service delivery capability and to improve the experience for individuals who choose to self-manage their interactions with government services. The four year myGov project (2012–13 to 2015–16) was to provide:
- a single username to access member services;
- search ability to identify available government services;
- the ability to notify multiple services about changes of personal contact details;
- the ability to submit data online to validate facts, including for proof of identity; and
- lower costs and more timely communications from services via a digital mailbox.
The Digital Transformation Agency is responsible for myGov service strategy, policy and user experience.2The Department of Human Services (Human Services) is responsible for administering and hosting myGov, including processes and procedures for system development and testing, security and operational performance.
By November 2016, myGov supported nearly 11 million active accounts and ten member services.
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 2015–16based 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.
Year Published: 2014
Sector: Cross Government , Public Administration
Government of Karnataka (GoK) envisaged a project to provide unified end-to-end e-Procurement solution to cover all procurement processes from preparation of estimate/indents to final payment of bills to the contractors. The main objective of the e-Procurement project (project) was smart governance, improvement of efficiency, cost saving, ensuring consistency in cost of goods, providing fair competitive platform, arresting cartel formation of suppliers/ contractors/bidders etc. All the departments of the State Government whose tender value is more than ` five lakh are mandated to float tenders through the e-Procurement portal. The work relating to e-Procurement was awarded (December 2006) to M/s. Hewlett Packard Sales India Private Ltd (Partner) as Application Service Provider adopting Public Private Partnership model where the bidder pays for using the services. The revenue earned is shared between the Partner and the Centre for e-Governance, Department of Personnel and Administrative Reforms (DPAR), the implementing agency as per agreed rates. The project went live during March 2011.
Delay and poor implementation led to the government not deriving full benefit of the unified e-Procurement solution. The off-the-shelf e-Procurement application was not adequately customised to suit the specific user requirements and KTPP provisions. Opportunities for using IT for improving efficiencies has not been utilised fully. Inadequate testing had lead to incomplete supplier history and incorrect management information system reports. The application suffered from four out of the OWASP Top Ten security vulnerabilities. Although the Government had intended to implement an end-to-end procurement solution with benefits of transparency and smart governance, the e-Procurement portal had no information about contracts concluded, works in progress, works completed, goods supplies done, expenditure progress, abandoned works, letters of intent and works yet to be started. Thus, the project failed in achieving its intended benefits of transparency and smart governance, leading to a situation where the envisaged end-to-end procurement solution for Government of Karnataka was used only as a tender processing website even after eight years of its implementation.
Year Published: 2013
Sector: Cross Government
This report is about the government’s strategy for moving public services to ‘digital by default’, published in November 2012. The strategy incorporated data on 1,298 users from a government survey in August 2012 as data on citizens and small and medium-sized businesses use of, and willingness to engage with, public services online was limited.1 To give the Committee of Public Accounts assurance about the digital strategy, and that its approach to assisting those who are offline to use digital services is based on sound assumptions about the preferences, capabilities and needs of users in England, we commissioned independent research. This included a face-to-face survey of over 3,000 people, an online survey of 130 businesses and eight focus groups in England. 2 The government started to move to online public services in 2000. In December 2011, we reported on the key developments over the previous decade.2 While we found progress in making it easier for people to find government information and services online, we did not find robust data on the costs or benefits of spending. Therefore we could not conclude that the government had achieved value for money in working towards its objectives. 3 When we last reported, the Cabinet Office had set up the Government Digital Service (‘GDS’) to accelerate the move towards digital public services. We made several recommendations for the GDS that they progressed in 2012. In particular, we recommended that it should lead on integrating digital plans across government and improve its analysis of the costs and benefits of going digital. We also recommended that the GDS should have the authority to set and implement policy and work closely with stakeholders to provide digital services that put users first. 4 The GDS is working to make services ‘digital by default’. Digital by default is defined as “digital services that are so straightforward and convenient that all those who can use them will choose to do so while those who can’t are not excluded”.3 However, the strategy also highlights the savings that can come from switching to digital channels. The GDS has identified more than 650 public services that central government provides (excluding the NHS, local councils and the police). These could yield total potential annual savings of £1.7 billion to £1.8 billion if they were provided digitally. In 2011-12, according to GDS, these services cost between £6 billion and £9 billion to operate and more than 300 have no digital channel.4 The savings estimate does not include the costs that may be required to create or redesign digital services. However, it also does not take into account the government’s new approach to becoming digital, set out in its strategy, which could lead to greater savings being achieved more quickly.
In this report we have tested the assumptions made about users in the government digital strategy. Our future audits will evaluate value for money as government redesigns services and moves them online.
6 The government has made more ambitious plans over the last year, for making public services digital. It is 13 years since the government first announced that it would move public information and transaction services online; a move it initially intended to complete by 2005. Since we last reported in December 2011, the government’s interest has broadened from consolidation of government websites to the more fundamental need to redesign public services with users at the heart. In July 2012, the Civil Service Reform Plan committed the government to becoming digital wherever possible.5 In November 2012, the Government Digital Strategy was published, which includes ways to help those who are not online to engage with government online (paragraphs 1.1, 1.7 and 1.9). 7 Set up in 2011, the Government Digital Service established firm leadership of this digital agenda. In particular it has: • started to improve the Cabinet Office’s digital capacity, and establish digital leaders in departments; • replaced the Directgov and Business.gov portals to public services with a single website – GOV.UK a single point of entry to online public services; • analysed and published cost and performance information on online public services; and • published the Government Digital Strategy (paragraphs 2.2 to 2.9). 8 The Government Digital Strategy is based on sound evidence that many people and small- and medium-sized businesses can access and have the skills to use online public services. From our surveys we found that 83 per cent of people use the internet. Whether people live in a rural or urban area appears to make little difference to their internet use. Age, socio-economic group and disability do affect internet use. Over 90 per cent of those we surveyed who were online were experienced internet users who felt confident about completing online tasks without help. However, 7 per cent of those online lack confidence and may need help to use the internet (paragraphs 3.2, 3.3, 3.8 and 3.11)