Australia’s Digital Transformation Agency (DTA), a government organization that leads innovative initiatives into cutting edge technology is on course to reveal a blockchain platform prototype by the end of Q4 of this year, according to this article by Computerworld Australia. This isn’t the only government based platform that the Australian government is testing at this moment. Their government in New South Wales (NSW) is also pilot testing a blockchain based platform for its new driver’s license digitization program which is on track to be released this coming November. As previously reported on Cryptoticker, IBM had also signed a $740 million deal with the Australian government to use blockchain technology and other innovative technologies to improve their data security cross-brand solutions partnership involving IBM hardware, software, cloud-based solutions, joint innovation programs in quantum, cybersecurity, and research aimed at furthering the government’s digital transformation agenda.
David La Rose, the managing director of IBM Australia & New Zealand was also quoted as saying that,
“The Whole of Government agreement reflects the growing importance of technology to the government’s transformation agenda. For agencies it will be more simple and cost efficient to engage with IBM, while our technologies make it possible for government to deliver smarter, integrated, always-on digital services for citizens”
The Digital Transformation Agency (DTA) and the Australian Welfare Payment Delivery System
Randall Brugeaud told earlier this year that the public welfare system would be the primary focus of the new blockchain initiatives. He further added that,
“The potential of blockchain to securely record transactions will be investigated drawing on the experience of other public and private sector organisations.”
Moreover, the Digital Transformation Agency’s Chief Digital Officer, Peter Alexander, had publicly announced that the former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull was also interested in the DTA conducting research and development into the blockchain space.
He quoted that,
“Pulling together the experience of blockchain across government to say: Fundamentally what is it, and is there value to this technology and this approach at a time and in a world where blockchain is new and not standardized but clearly has some value outside cryptocurrency? There is clearly some value to blockchain and some of the components of that technology or technology set. We will look at it to determine what the value is and how we can use it. Specifically, we have been asked to look at whether we can use it for welfare payments”
The Digital Transformation Agency’s team’s enthusiasm conveys their optimism towards blockchain enabling Australia’s government services to improve their security, efficiency, and immutability.
State wide Pilot program for driver’s license digitization
The New South Wales (NSW) state government has scheduled its driver’s license digitization platform program to be test-launched on November this year. The platform would be powered by a decentralized system being developed by Secure Logic, which is an Australian firm specializing in blockchain technology and IT infrastructure.
The blockchain network powering the platform that is scheduled to be pilot-tested by 140,000 driver’s license holders would be powered by a blockchain infrastructure network called TrustGrid. This would expand upon a similar pilot program launched in Dubbo previously enabled its pilot testers to utilize their digital driver’s license to gain access to a myriad of services and identity checking stations such as police checkpoints, bars, and clubs.
“The era of standing in line to file government paperwork is coming to an end, as is our reliance on physical identification cards to establish your identity or proof of age with law enforcement or at licensed venues. These are mistake prone, time-consuming, expensive, and impractical ways to offer services”, said Devaraj, the CEO of Secure Logic earlier this year on this digital driver’s license pilot.
Australia paving the way in Blockchain innovation
All these initiatives by the Australian government portray their clear motive of establishing a global presence in the blockchain government development race, currently already being considered by other countries like Estonia, South Korea, and the United States. Time will tell if these bold initiatives would pay off for the Australian government in the long-term and their citizens are awaiting the release of this driver’s license digitization platform this coming November.