The Digital Transformation Agency (DTA) plans to launch the pilot of its GovPass digital identity program in October, allowing participants to conduct the process of applying for a Tax File Number completely online.
There are some 750,000 applications for TFNs every year, acting DTA Randall Brugeaud told the CeBit eGovernment Conference.
The government revealed in the federal budget, handed down last week that it planned to accelerate the rollout of its digital ID program – earmarking $92.4 million for GovPass in 2018-19.
At the moment there are more than 30 different logins used across government to provide access digital services, Brugeaud said.
GovPass will allow individuals to prove their identity once through an identity verification service that could be delivered by federal government agencies or government business enterprises such as Australia Post, state and territory government organisations and select businesses (such as banks, for example). That identity can then be used to access different government services.
The federated model developed by the DTA will involve an identity exchange operated by the Department of Human Services. A double-blind model will mean that service providers will not see an individual’s identity information and an identity provider will not see what services they are accessing.
“Digital identity opens doors to broader digital transformation and joined up services,” Brugeaud told the conference. “It is a critical first step making it easier for end users to deal with government. A coordinated approach to digital identity will reduce red tape for individuals and businesses accessing government services, ultimately increasing end user satisfaction as well as saving time and money.”
At the moment, TFN applications can be filled in online – but then need to be printed out and taken in to a post office to be finalised. Digital identity will reduce a month-long process to just minutes, Brugeaud said.
“Users will be able to do this without leaving their home or place of work,” he said. He said that following the launch of the TFN pilot, the DTA plans to gradually bring other services online, including grants management, business registration, student services and some Centrelink services.
“We anticipate that around 2.8 million transactions will be moved online as a result of this work,” Brugeaud said.
He also revealed details about the DTA’s plan to investigate the use of blockchain technology for welfare payment delivery.