Govt digital blueprint nears completion

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Govt digital blueprint nears completion

To become digital world leader by 2025.

The Digital Transformation Agency is just months away from delivering a new government-wide strategy that will underpin efforts by Australia to become one of the world’s top digital governments.

An alpha draft of the strategy is currently being “circulated for comments across the public sector”, assistant minister for digital transformation Michael Keenan will tell a AIIA luncheon in Canberra later today.

It will focus on making government interaction with citizens and business easier and is intended to help Australia become “one of the top three digital governments in the world [by 2025]”.

The government plans to do this by learning from “world best practices”, without “simply emulat[ing] other countries” such as Estonia.

The DTA has been developing the strategy since late last year to give it “a set of clear goals” to deliver this future.

It has done so in consultation with more than 500 stakeholders from 30 government agencies.

The strategy will address priority areas such as ensuring the government has the right technology and processes for “the digital age”, and using data and analytics to make informed decisions.

The last - and now expired - whole-of-government IT strategy was published in November 2012 by the former Australian Government Information Management Office’s (AGIMO).

There have, however, been a number of party policy statements since, as well as a high-level roadmap just after the DTA was restructured in October 2016.

The strategy will be accompanied by a roadmap that sets out a number of milestones for the next two years.

“The roadmap will identify new and improved services delivered to Australian individuals and organisations, from students and welfare recipients to tax practitioners and businesses, from patients and older Australians to overseas travellers,” Keenan will say.

The strategy will be extended to industry following consultation with the public sector, ahead of the final strategy and roadmap being delivered in Q3 2018.

The agency is also working on separate hosting and platform strategies planned for delivery in October and November this year.

ATO becomes govt's exclusive digital identity provider

Keenan will also acknowledged the Australian Taxation Office as its exclusive manager of digital identities for the Govpass platform for the first time.

The choice was made known in last month’s federal budget, with the ATO receiving $26 million to “accelerate” the delivery of GovPass.

“Initially, there will be one Commonwealth Identity Provider (the ATO) who will provide the government’s digital identity, which will be named myGovID,” Keenan will say.

The government made the decision to stand up only one federal government identity provider for Govpass last year.

The Department of Human Services has developed the identity provider solution behind the myGov ID.

Other providers from state and territory governments and the private sector are also being encouraged to become accredited, and will come online over time.

Australia Post has already indicated it will seek to become the first non-government identity provider, using its Digital iD platform.

“The sooner more identity providers become accredited, the more choice users will have to establish a secure and reusable digital identity with a provider they trust,” Keenan will say.

The identity provider is one of two platforms that underpin Govpass, the other of which is the exchange.

The exchange is the gateway that will be used to verify an individual’s credentials without revealing their identity to service providers. It will be operated by DHS.

Eight Govpass digital identity pilots that target high volume government transactions are currently planned for next financial year.

More than half a million users are expected to use the platform during this time.

The first pilot – for the Australian Taxation Office’s new online tax file number application service – will launch in October this year, followed by trials for business and welfare recipients.

“Registering a business through the Australian Business Registry will be trialled with 100,000 people, and connecting grants management services will be trialled with 5000 organisations (and up to 10,000 people) will follow in December 2018,” Keenan will say.

It is also expected to link in with work being performed under DHS’ welfare payments infrastructure transformation (WPIT) program.

“From March 2019, pilot services that will be connected to digital identity will include the Unique Student Identifier, and Centrelink online services – including Youth Allowance and Newstart,” Keenan will say.

“Each year 200,000 enrolments in Youth Allowance support young Australian students and jobseekers.

"Newstart Allowance allows 790,000 jobseekers annually to access support, with only 38 percent able to access these services online.”

“Both of these pilots will make it possible for 100,000 people to access Newstart and Youth Allowance services online.”

There are also plans for a pilot that allows 100,000 people to use their Govpass to create their My Health Record online from March 2019, though it is not understood who would use this given records would have already been created unless you opt-out.

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