Wednesday, 25 March 2015
Questions without Notice
I thank the senator very much for his question, because we are involved in a transformation of the delivery of government services around Australia with a continually growing network of myGov shopfronts.
In January this year we opened the new myGov shopfront in Martin Place in Sydney and, previously, in Brisbane in June of last year. These shopfronts are a serious innovation in the provision of government services. We bring together Medicare; Centrelink; the Australian Tax Office, the PCEHR—the personally controlled electronic health record; the Department of Veterans' Affairs—I say to my colleague Senator Ronaldson; the NDIS; and also, most recently, Australian JobSearch. So we are continually adding to the number of services that Australians are able to obtain access to by visiting the single myGov shopfront. We are going to roll out more of those, I am pleased to say, in other capital cities around Australia—in Adelaide, in Perth and in Melbourne. Those three will come in during the rest of this calendar year.
They do not just deliver more integrated services for customers because that is what customers are looking for; they want to be able to do the business that they transact with government in one place at the one time, as far as possible. But we are also able to help our customers engage in the online space with us. In the myGov shopfronts in Sydney and in Brisbane we have a set of app bars with iPads, where customers can acquaint themselves with the use of apps and then replicate that on their smartphones or their own other devices. We have a whole range of self-service terminals. In fact, the senator will recall from our visit to Woden earlier this year that the take-up of that sort of self-service engagement is ever increasing. The growing demand shows us that there is in fact a requirement for more and more services to be coordinated, to be integrated like that so that customers are able to access them where they want and when they want.
Again, I thank the senator very much for his question. The numbers actually speak for themselves. As at today, we have over six million myGov accounts across our Australian customer base. The average growth is 20,000 new accounts every day, so the take-up is considerable. Obviously, in the tax period—in June, July and August of last year—that take-up was particularly significant, and we are looking forward to that happening again.
We are not just doing this in the space of the myGov account. As at the end of last month, since May of the previous year, we had sent over 40 million digital letters across the country. What that saves, in terms of the snail mail process, is significant, but the ease of access that it gives to our customers is what is most important in that space. In the Medicare online transactions over the last financial year, the number of transactions increased by a third. (Time expired)
Senators will be aware of the recent announcement of the establishment of the Digital Transformation Office in government. The myGov online entry point is absolutely vital to delivering our e-government and digital transformation technology. It was an election commitment of ours to shift major services and interactions with individuals online, and we are committed to doing that by 2017 so that all major transactions with government can be conducted, end to end, digitally. We are going to keep that promise, and we are going to be able to meet that commitment. What the Digital Transformation Office will do is to leverage myGov to transform the way that services are delivered, not just to individuals but to business as well. That will be transformational for the way that business is able to engage with government. Staff from my department are embedded within the interim DTO and will continue to work very closely with them in the development of that project. (Time expired)