​State and local governments to get myGov for free

Australian Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull has said that the federal government will offer state and local governments the use of its myGov portal for free, as it works to ramp up public and private collaboration with its Digital Transformation Office.

Australia's state and local governments will be given free use of the federal government's myGov so-called one-stop shop portal for online identity verification, according to Australian Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull.

Turnbull, who spoke at the CeBIT business IT conference in Sydney on Wednesday, said that the move to make myGov available to all other state and local governments at no cost is part of the federal government's drive to establish a single, trusted identity framework for online government services.

"Immediate priorities include establishing a single, trusted digital identity framework, improving the functionality of the myGov digital mailbox, or portal, developing a 'tell us once' functionality across all government agencies, and streamlining grants administration," said Turnbull.

Turnbull said that the new digital identity framework will establish a set of principles and standards for the use of accredited, government, and third-party digital identities across government.

"It will also involve the use of a voice print to access services through telephony and mobile channels," he said.

The prospect of biometric identification technology such as voice print access comes after the myGov login system faced criticism last year when vulnerabilities were found in the website, including the ability for one researcher to hijack the accounts of registered myGov users, according to a Fairfax report.

The government's move to share the myGov portal, which was first launched in 2013, with various levels of government around the country comes as it works to see its recently launched Digital Transformation Office (DTO) collaborate closely with business and the research sector, along with other governments.

The DTO, which was launched in March, has been charged with developing whole-of-government platforms for government services, and is expected to help transform how government agencies deliver their services online.

"The DTO is working with the public and government agencies to identify a small number of exemplar services to disrupt, redesign, and put in the hands of users to critique," said Turnbull.

"We'll start with a handful of them, perhaps three or four," he said. "The idea is to start small, but think big. The emphasis will be on agile design and nimble development. Projects will be delivered over short, 90-day cycles. This means that the alpha and beta services won't be perfect, but it's a fundamental shift to the way government has done things in the past.

"All new and redesigned services within the Commonwealth will need to comply to the recently developed digital service standard. The DTO will incorporate a large number of projects," he said.