The government has revealed that it will provide the Digital Transformation Agency with $92.4 million in 2018-19 to “accelerate the implementation of the GovPass Program”.
GovPass is a DTA-led effort to develop a framework that will enable an individual to verify their identity once, then create a digital identity that can be used to access different government services.
The agency is developing a federated solution that will allow a number of providers to act as authorised identity verification services. Those providers could potentially include some private sector organisations.
“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,” budget documents state.
The government will fund a pilot for users to create a digital identity and complete a Tax File Number
application online “from end to end”.
The Australian Taxation Office will absorb $25.9 million of the accelerated rollout cost and the Department of Human Services will absorb $5.6 million, the government said.
“The GovPass Program is a key component in the further digital transformation of Government and supports the Government’s commitment to better and more accessible digital services,” budget documents state.
The DTA in February released the first component of its Trusted Digital Identity Framework for organisations seeking to provide identity services as part of the GovPass program.
The agency expects to release two further TDIF components focused on an offline option for creating a digital ID and on authorising individuals to act on behalf of a business.
In March, the agency released a request for tender seeking “liveness detection” software.
When an individual creates a GovPass, they will need to submit details of personal documents, such as a Medicare card. In order to access most services using their digital ID, they will also have to submit photographic identification.
When creating a GovPass, an image will be captured and checked against the government’s Facial Verification Service to confirm an individual’s identity. The liveness detection software is intended to prevent the use of still photos, pre-recorded videos or software-generated avatars.