The Australian government has announced AU$92.4 million in funding for its digital identity program Govpass under the 2018-19 Budget, with AU$60.9 million earmarked for an "accelerated implementation" by the Digital Transformation Agency (DTA).
"The Govpass program will allow users to create their digital identity and use this digital identity to engage with services online. This funding will include a public trial of approximately 100,000 tax file number (TFN) applications being completed online," the Budget papers said.
"The DTA will work with relevant agencies to leverage existing capabilities, and those in development, to test the delivery of Govpass across a range of services. This will include a pilot for users to create a digital identity and complete a Tax File Number application online from end to end."
Of the funding, the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) will absorb AU$25.9 million and the Department of Human Services (DHS) will absorb AU$5.6 million, after being charged with the responsibility of Govpass in the first instance in November.
"Govpass will unlock access to a host of online services, while reducing the burden on individuals to have to prove who they are each time they want to make a transaction," a statement from Human Services Minister and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Digital Transformation Michael Keenan and Social Services Minister Dan Tehan said.
"The funding will build the underlying infrastructure for Govpass and roll out pilot services to over 500,000 users, delivering a range of benefits such as being able to create a Tax File Number online from as early as October 2018."
DTA had been seeking an identity validation platform for Govpass in March, with the agency having outlined the process of applying for a Govpass in October and the platform moving into final beta in February.
The Govpass digital identification proposition, which requires citizen data and photos to be stored by the government in a centralised cloud-based platform, sits alongside a draft digital identity framework unveiled in November.
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