(Australian Associated Press)
Australians will be able to access government services with a single log-in under a plan to create a “single digital identity” by 2025.
Michael Keenan, the federal minister in charge of digital services, said face-to-face interactions with government services would be greatly reduced.
“Think of it as a 100-point digital ID check that will unlock access to almost any government agency through a single portal such as a myGov account,” Mr Keenan said.
The minister wants Australia to be a world leader in digital government, with almost all services to be available online by 2025.
Mr Keenan said having 30 different log-ins for government services is not good enough.
“The old ways of doing things, like forcing our customers to do business with us over the counter, must be re-imagined and refined,” he said.
People will need to establish their digital identity once before being able to use it across services.
The first of several pilot programs using a “beta” version of what will be known as myGovID will begin in October.
The initial pilot will enable 100,000 participants to apply for a tax file number online, which Mr Keenan says will reduce processing time to a day from up to a month currently.
In a pilot starting from March next year, services including student identification and Centrelink will be connected to the digital identity.
Also from March 2019, 100,000 people will be able to use their digital identity to create their My Health Record online.
Mr Keenan says one face-to-face or over-the-counter transaction costs on average about $17 to process, while an online transaction can cost less than 40 cents.
The Human Services department will operate as the gateway between service providers and people.
“This is key to protecting privacy, as the exchange will act as a double-blind – service providers will not see any of the user’s ID information and identity providers will not know what services each user is accessing,” Mr Keenan said.
Labor digital economy spokesman Ed Husic said the Turnbull government was responsible for a “dirty dozen” of failed digital transformation failures, including the census and tax office website crashes.
“The biggest challenge confronting the Turnbull government is to quit its addiction to glitzy digital announcements and get stuck into properly delivering these multimillion-dollar projects,” Mr Husic said.