Adobe has landed a two-year extension to its lucrative myGov deal, with the US multinational to be paid another $30.7 million to continue its support of the government digital services platform just two years after its last contract.
Services Australia signed off on the new two-year myGov contract earlier this month, InnovationAus.com can reveal, bringing the total cost of Adobe software used for the platform between 2021 and 2026 to more than $67 million.
The decision comes days after Adobe publicised a report written by the company that ranks myGov as the leading public sector website in a survey of 120 departments globally, without disclosing that its software underpins the platform.
Under the renewed contract, Adobe will be paid more than $1.2 million a month to deliver the “core customer experience technology” for the government digital experience platform (GovDXP) that underpins myGov.
GovDXP was developed to give citizens a single, personalised view of their interactions with the federal government in 2020 and 2021, and replaced myGov’s legacy platform in September 2022.
It stemmed from a prototype developed by Deloitte using Adobe software products in early 2020. The consulting giant landed a near-$1 million contract for the work, followed by a series of subsequent contracts that pushed its total payout to at least $45 million.
Adobe was formally selected to provide the suite of core CX capabilities for GovDXP in August 2021, following a six-month search by Services Australia.
But the decision to use Adobe stems from a decision taken by the Digital Transformation Agency in 2019, prior to Deloitte – a global Adobe partner – being selected to build the prototype that would become the basis for the DXP.
The contract, which was initially valued at $32.3 million over three years, has has grown to $36.4 million since August 2021, while the term has been reduced to two-and-a-half years.
While the contract was due to expire in late December, a last minute one-month extension was granted to Adobe last month at a cost of $757,737. A notice published on AusTender reveal the contract began on the Saturday before Christmas.
The “one-month extension option was exercised under existing terms to ensure due diligence prior to executive a two-year contract extension”, a Services Australia spokesperson told InnovationAus.com.
The major extension – the notice for which is yet to be published on the AusTender website – is worth approximately $30.7 million over 25 months, the spokesperson said, and is expected to begin at the end of January.
It is unclear whether Services Australia is continuing to pay for Adobe Target, a tool designed to personalise a users’ experience using the company’s artificial intelligence and machine learning platform, Adobe Sensei.
The agency bought the software to tailor myGov’s content and functionality to individual users, according to the myGov user audit, but it has yet to be switched on for “live users”, Services Australia confirmed earlier this month.
This is despite the government setting out to give citizens a single, personalised view of their interactions on the platform, which would recommend services to users based on their previous interactions, much like Netflix does.
According to the user audit, the lack of personalisation is at least partly due to the absence of legislation governing “myGov’s collection and retention of information about individuals”, limiting any opportunity to tailor services to citizens.
Last month, the government agreed or agreed in principle to nine of the 10 recommendations from the user audit led by former CSIRO chair David Thodey. Absent from the list was the recommendation that myGov be legislated as national service delivery infrastructure.
The government has, however, agreed to “exploring pathways that will support the joined-up delivery of government services and will invest in further discovery work to investigate what, if any, are the legislative barriers in realizing the potential of myGov”.
“The government notes that a number of practical barriers remain in place that inhibit the vision for myGov to join-up service delivery for individuals. This includes… statutory requirements that prevent end-to-end information sharing and connected experiences,” it said in its response.
In the Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook update last month, the government set aside $2.4 million to research and evaluate myGov’s “legislative landscape” to inform future development of the platform.
Further enhancement to myGov are also expected to roll out later this year, including digital statutory declarations and a new biometric option designed to stamp out fraud through the use of “scam-in-a-box kits” being sold on the dark web..
myGov was the top ranked public sector site for performance in Adobe’s Global Government Digital Peformance and Inclusion Benchmark, which was published last November and made a headline last week.
“The top site performance score was led by improved site speed, search and findability of content that helped myGov achieve the overall top global ranking. This and myGov’s broader performance improvement led to it being awarded a global Service to the Citizen award,” the report said.
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